Jesus hopes injury fears will fade as he plays more

LONDON • Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has said that he is playing with the fear of injuring himself, after making a comeback from a second major spell on the sidelines at the club.

The 20-year-old Brazil international started and scored in City's Champions League defeat by Basel on Wednesday. It was his fourth game back after missing two months with a knee ligament injury suffered against Crystal Palace on New Year's Eve.

He also broke a metatarsal in his right foot in February last year and, ahead of tomorrow's Premier League match at Stoke, said that the prospect of another injury is always on his mind.

"When you are in the game, without wanting it, you end up thinking about the previous game where you got injured... you have a bit of fear," Jesus, who appeared as a substitute in his three previous games, told the British media.

"But, as you are playing more and more, you are going to get that fear away and play your football.

"There's some movements when I still have some worries about getting injured again. I know anything can happen, but I'm sure that the more you play, the quicker that fear is going to go away."

Jesus also backed compatriot Neymar to make a full recovery in time to lead Brazil's bid to win a sixth World Cup. The Paris Saint-Germain star underwent surgery in Brazil last week to repair a broken bone in his foot just over three months before the tournament starts in Russia.

  • £20K

    S$36,500 fine for Pep Guardiola for wearing yellow ribbon in support of jailed separatist politicians in Catalonia.

"Neymar sent me a message right after his injury," he said. "I told him how I felt and how my recovery was. He is a fighter and everything is going to be fine."

Basel fought back to secure a 2-1 win in the second leg against City, but the Premier League leaders eased into the Champions League quarter-finals 5-2 on aggregate.

Jesus is focused on playing his part as City look to wrap up the Premier League title and continue to make progress in Europe.

He is likely to have to wait for his chance in the starting line-up, however, after falling behind Sergio Aguero, who has hit form in his absence.

Meanwhile, City manager Pep Guardiola was fined £20,000 (S$36,500) by the English Football Association on Friday for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of jailed pro-independence politicians in his native Catalonia.

The Spaniard, who was also warned as to his future conduct, has continually sported the ribbon in domestic and European competitions. The FA said that wearing a political message is in breach of its kit and advertising regulations.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 11, 2018, with the headline 'Jesus hopes injury fears will fade as he plays more'. Print Edition | Subscribe