Sergio Aguero may not be risked for Manchester City’s midweek trip to Watford with Pep Guardiola desperate to avoid injuries ahead of a busy December schedule.
The City striker missed Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Bournemouth because of a slight muscle injury with club doctors warning that making it worse would rule him out until the new year.
City have nine games this month, including Saturday’s away game at title rivals Chelsea, and Guardiola is trying to rotate his squad through a busy period, having made five changes at the weekend.
“The doctors told me Sergio cannot play,” Guardiola told a news conference. “If he plays, maybe four or five weeks off. In that situation this month, with a lot of games, he was not safe.
“It’s going to happen in the future, the next games. People start to be tired in a lot of games. That’s why we have a deep squad.
“We play nine games, but many of our contenders and opponents do too. It’s not because we play more than the other ones. It’s the same, so why should we complain? Play every day, try to be there and play the game.
“Right now, I’m not quite sure [if Aguero will face Watford].”
Gabriel Jesus started the win against Bournemouth, but the Brazil international has struggled this season with just one Premier League goal — scored back in August.
The 21-year-old did score a hat trick in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk but has found it tough after a disappointing World Cup where he failed to score as Brazil were dumped out in the quarterfinals.
“I want to make it clear that everything that happened is already in the past for me: my injury, the title, the World Cup,” Gabriel Jesus said. “I want to focus on this current season, not on what is gone.
“I’ve been training really hard, maybe that’s why I felt something in my groin last week.
Unfortunately I was out of the Champions League match [against Lyon] that I really wanted to play. I always make it clear for Pep that I’m here to help the team regardless of how.