Manchester City were expected to restore normal service for this season and were tipped by many to not only rival Liverpool for the title but to reclaim the Premier League crown. Their non-stop schedule and a busy treatment table have made City’s campaign tougher than expected so far.
As we check the injury list for the Citizens perhaps most worrying is the number of injuries affecting the spine of the team. A big concern is the reappearance of striker Sergio Aguero who is only recently back fit following a few weeks on the sidelines. It seems Aguero felt soreness in his thigh/hamstring region after the West Ham game and is classified as questionable for the CL away game vs Marseille and the PL trip to Bramall lane to face Sheffield United. So we must hope for the best as the expected reports about Aguero’s future begin to appear more and more.
Gabriel Jesus again is an increasingly crucial player for Pep Guardiola. The Brazilian star has been showing all the signs that he is ready to pick-up the mantle from Aguero but he does seem to get injury setbacks at the wrong times. Of course there is never a good time for an injury and Jesus just needs a bit of luck so he can get over his current thigh injury. Sidelined since he scored a goal in City’s opening Premier League 3-1 away win against Wolves, Jesus is still not back in training after missing Brazil’s games in the international break. A return for the striker who has only got better and better over the past 18 months is crucial for City’s hopes this season. However it is likely to be mid to late November before he comes back as he definitely won’t be rushed.
Continuing with injuries to the spine of the team, central midfielder Fernandinho came on as an 85th-minute substitute vs Porto in the Champions League last week but had to be replaced in stoppage time by John Stones. The midfielder suffered a knee problem after only being on the field for literally minutes but the City boss confirmed after the match that the injury will sideline the star for 4-6 weeks. Hopefully they can get him back in the 4 weeks as the squad really cannot handle any more injuries to key central personnel.
Again another injury to the spine of the team has seen Aymeric Laporte sidelined with a muscle problem since before the Arsenal match and even though the Frenchman returned to training last week he did not even make the bench for the 1-1 draw with West Ham on the weekend. He may well be ok for this week’s fixtures.
Nathan Ake played in the PL win over Arsenal but did not play in the CL encounter with Porto. Ake picked up a groin/pelvic injury vs the Gunners and is yet another injury to the spine of the side. On a positive note Ake seems to be one of the players who is possibly in contention for the games this week but the weekend might be a better shout for the Dutch centre-back.
Benjamin Mendy got injured at the same time as Laporte but his muscle problem is apparently a little more serious and will see the Frenchman out of action for a few more weeks than his compatriot. Mendy will be looking to return to training in the 3rd or 4th week of November if all goes well.
The other recent good news from the treatment table was Kevin De Bruyne’s return to the first team when he came on as a 68th minute substitute against West Ham on the weekend. Pep Guardiola will be hoping for more news like De Bruyne’s recovery as the team can certainly do without any more injuries as they are one of the most injury hit clubs at the moment along with rivals Liverpool.