Sergio Aguero is likely to join up with his Manchester City team-mates in Portugal later this week but his chances of featuring in the club’s Champions League quarter-final against Lyon on Saturday are slim.
The Argentina striker underwent knee surgery last month and has been undergoing intensive rehabilitation in Barcelona in the hope of playing some part in City’s bid to win a first European Cup.
Aguero, 32, has been out for seven weeks and is running out of time to be ready to face Lyon in the Lisbon mini-tournament, although whether he is in a position to return for a prospective semi-final against Bayern Munich or Barcelona four days later remains to be seen. The final will be held on Sunday week.
Aguero is desperate to rejoin the group and play some part as City attempt to make history in the competition but City’s staff, while eager to give the Argentine every opportunity to prove his fitness, are also conscious that, traditionally, the player is slow to get back up to speed after a lengthy lay-off and time is not on their side in this scenario.
When Aguero last suffered a similar injury in the lead up to the 2018 World Cup finals, he was out for two months and struggled for fitness throughout the tournament in Russia.
City arrived in Portugal on Monday in a bid to acclimatise with Lyon standing between them and a place in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time under Pep Guardiola and only the second time in the club’s history.
Gabriel Jesus’s impressive form over both legs of the Round of 16 win against Real Madrid have been a boon for Guardiola in the absence of Aguero.