LONDON • Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Samir Nasri were sent home from training on Wednesday with a virus to hand Manchester City a fitness scare before Monday's Premier League match at West Bromwich Albion.
Aguero was announced as the supporters' player of the year on Wednesday night but the striker was unable to attend the ceremony in Manchester.
The Argentinian said: "Sorry, I can't be there. I'm not feeling well. I will be back soon."
Manager Manuel Pellegrini is hopeful that all three players will be available for the club's first game of the season.
Aguero was the Premier League's top scorer with 26 goals last season. He found the net in 32 of 41 appearances in all competitions, his best return for the club.
City will need Aguero to get fit quickly as they agreed a £14 million (S$30 million) fee with Roma for Edin Dzeko on Wednesday.
With the sale of Stefan Jovetic to Inter Milan, City is poised to start the season with only two front-line strikers in Aguero and Wilfried Bony. But Pellegrini is not unduly worried.
"We have Kelechi (Iheanacho), that is a young player who I think must find a place here in our squad," the Chilean manager said yesterday. "(Raheem) Sterling can also play in front. I think we are going to bring in other players but not in that position."
Pellegrini is also "absolutely sure" that City will win back the Premier League title this season.
City, who conceded four goals in both their defeats by Real Madrid and Stuttgart in pre-season friendlies, finished eight points behind champions Chelsea in the Premier League last season.
"I am absolutely sure that we are going to have a very successful season. We must bring back the title here to our fans," the 61-year-old was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "We are sure, as I have just said, that we are going to bring it back. We had a good pre-season."
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS