Sergio Aguero hoping for Covid all-clear to make Manchester City return


Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero – Reuters

Sergio Aguero could discover on Friday if he has been given the all-clear to return to Manchester City’s squad as the Argentina striker targets a long-awaited return to regular action.

Aguero said during a live stream on Twitch – the gaming platform – that he was due to undergo a Covid-19 test on Thursday.

The 32-year-old has been in the midst of a second period of self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus but he is hoping the results of the latest planned test will come back negative and allow him to resume training once he is deemed fit enough to do so.

Pep Guardiola, the City manager, revealed on Monday that Aguero had been struggling with fatigue after his positive test and the player is understood to have said on Twitch that he had also suffered a sore throat and some aching.

Aguero’s last appearance came as a late substitute in the 3-1 win over Chelsea on Jan. 3 and his season has been severely curtailed by injury problems in addition to Covid.

He has made just two league starts this term after complications in his recovery from a knee injury and was also struck down by a hamstring problem. Guardiola is hoping Aguero will “give us the last months, from February or March, and he’ll help us in the decision moments [of the season] – the goals and make the difference”.

In Aguero’s absence, City have overcome a slow start to the campaign to move to the top of the Premier League courtesy of seven consecutive top flight wins during an impressive 18-match unbeaten run in all competitions. They face bottom club Sheffield United at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Guardiola believes City’s success in cutting out the “silly” mistakes that plagued them last season has been crucial to their upturn and new found defensive solidity, as embodied by the centre-half pairing of Ruben Dias and John Stones.

“I think the individual quality of our defenders, avoiding mistakes like we made a lot last season – they punished us and created a lot of problems – but this season, the commitment from everyone to run backwards is incredible,” Guardiola said when asked what had changed defensively.

“That has helped the back four a lot. But at the same time, especially in the last eight, nine games, players like John and Ruben have helped us a lot to not make the silly mistakes, the mistakes like ‘Oh my God what is this?’. We don’t do that. We don’t make clear, clear mistakes and that has helped us to be stable.”