London (AFP) – Argentina international striker Sergio Aguero faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup in Russia after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said Friday his club season was over.
Guardiola, whose side secured the Premier League title last Sunday, said the 29-year-old would be sidelined for four to five weeks following minor knee surgery.
Aguero is City’s top scorer with 30 goals in all competitions this season. The injury, suffered in training on March 10, does not appear to rule him out of Argentina’s World Cup campaign.
Asked if the striker’s season was over, Guardiola said: “Here, yeah. He will be out for four or five weeks. He is in Barcelona right now. We are going to fight to get him to the World Cup.”
The World Cup starts in mid-June, with Argentina due to play their opening match against Iceland in Moscow on June 16.
“Recovering from an arthroscopy on my knee,” Aguero tweeted on Tuesday. “Fully motivated to get back soon to the field.”
Aguero, who has 199 goals for the club, has not started a game since City’s victory over Chelsea on March 4.
Following a month-long lay-off he returned to action as a late substitute in the derby defeat to Manchester United on April 7, when he was hurt in a controversial challenge from Ashley Young that went unpunished.
After that he was unable to train fully in the build-up to the second leg of City’s Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool on April 10. Again, he was only able to appear as a second-half substitute.
With the issue still bothering him, he was ruled out of last Saturday’s 3-1 win at Tottenham
The striker was this week named in the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Premier League team of the year.
In November, he became City all-time leading record goalscorer, surpassing the longstanding mark of 177 goals set by Eric Brook that had stood since 1939, when he was on target in a 4-2 Champions League group game away to Italian side Napoli.
Aguero had already assured himself of a prized place in the Manchester club’s history by scoring the dramatic extra-time winner on the final day of the 2011/12 season that saw City to a 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers as they snatched the Premier League title from under the noses of local rivals Manchester United.
This season’s success means Aguero has now won the English title three times with City, having also starred in their 2013/14 triumph.