Aguero may miss derby due to injury

Sergio Aguero in action with West Ham goalkeeper Adrian in Manchester City's 3-1 Premier League win on Sunday. The striker suffered a calf injury towards the end of the match.
Sergio Aguero in action with West Ham goalkeeper Adrian in Manchester City's 3-1 Premier League win on Sunday. The striker suffered a calf injury towards the end of the match.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Sergio Aguero's participation in the Manchester derby was thrown into further doubt on Monday after the striker withdrew from the Argentina squad because of a calf injury.

Manchester City confirmed that the striker did not travel to Buenos Aires to meet up with his international team-mates before their World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela.

It is understood that Aguero suffered the injury to his left leg towards the end of the 3-1 league win over West Ham on Sunday.

Should he be ruled out of the match away to United on Sept 10, it would be a big blow for Guardiola, who has only Kelechi Iheanacho, 19, as a back-up striker.

Regardless of fitness, Aguero could miss the derby through suspension after he appeared to catch Winston Reid, the West Ham defender, in the throat with his elbow.

The Football Association is expected to study referee Andre Marriner's match report before announcing whether it will charge the striker with violent conduct.

If the referee did not see the incident, Aguero could be charged under the FA's retrospective punishment rules and face a three-match ban.

Aguero's injury has also come as a blow to Argentina's 2018 World Cup qualifying plans as they have a home game with Uruguay tomorrow and a visit to Venezuela five days later.

The 2014 World Cup runners-up are currently third in the 10-nation South American qualifying group with 11 points from six matches.

Argentina will also likely be without their talisman Lionel Messi, who is struggling with a sore left hamstring suffered in Barcelona's 1-0 league win at Athletic Bilbao.

"The player will travel to Argentina to join the national team and the evolution of the discomfort will decide his availability to play in the games scheduled," Barcelona said in a statement.

THE TIMES, LONDON, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2016, with the headline 'Aguero may miss derby due to injury'. Print Edition | Subscribe