Sergio Aguero has until the end of the week to prove his fitness for Capital
One Cup Final after returning to full training at Manchester
The Argentine forward, City’s leading scorer this season, has been sidelined
for a month since injuring his hamstring during the Premier League victory
Despite returning to light training last week, Aguero was only given the green
light to resume full training this morning.
But with City facing a crucial Champions League second-leg against Barcelona
in the Nou Camp two weeks tomorrow, where they must overcome a 2-0 deficit
to progress to the semi-finals, Aguero’s fitness is being closely monitored
by manager Manuel Pellegrini.
With City desperate for Aguero’s goal threat in the Nou Camp, the risk of
playing him against Sunderland at Wembley on Sunday will be weighed against
the danger of the former Atletico Madrid forward suffering a setback that
would rule him out of the trip to Spain.
Aguero is expected to be involved against Sunderland, but his performances in
training over the next four days will be key in deciding the extent of his
role against the Wearsiders.
Aguero was out from mid-December until mid-January with a calf injury and the
hamstring problem has dealt a further blow to his efforts at helping City
win the quadruple this season.
But with Pellegrini mindful of Aguero’s need for game time before the
Barcelona clash, the player is likely to be involved at some stage against
Sunderland or Wigan in the FA Cup quarter-final next week before facing
Meanwhile, City midfielder Javi Garcia admits he is targeting a Cup Final
place against Sunderland after battling to break-up the Yaya Toure and
Fernandino midfield partnership this season.
Garcia has impressed in recent weeks when used by Pellegrini, but the former
Benfica midfielder admits he has found life tough at City.
“It was hard last season because I was only involved occasionally and I found
it difficult to get into a rhythm,” said Garcia.
“I might play one or two games and then I wouldn’t play for the next two or
three – or be on the bench.
“That makes it impossible to get to the level you know you are capable of.
That only comes when you have a run of games so last season was very
stop-start for me.
“My style of play means that I’m at my best when I’ve played regularly because
I’m sharper and my energy levels are at their peak. There have been times
when it hasn’t been so easy.
“Sometimes in the quieter moments of a game, you can hear the fans maybe
aren’t happy with you, but things have been different recently and I know I
have heard them getting behind me which helps me more.
“It hadn’t happened that often but, against Cardiff and Chelsea, things felt
much better and I put that down to playing more regularly.
“I’ve played in 30 games already this season and it’s a very good number when
you look at the players we have at this club.
“Every player wants to play all the time, but it’s just not possible so I’m
happy I’ve been involved as much as I have this season.
“I know there will be more opportunities to play because we are still in every
competition and if we want to win them all, the manager will have to utilise
his squad and keep players fresh by resting them occasionally.”
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