The Manchester City striker is fighting to be ready for the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign having failed to feature in pre-season after struggling with a knee problemEXCLUSIVE
By Paul Clennam
Sergio Aguero is facing a race against time to be fit for the new Premier League campaign.
The Argentine striker was an unused substitute for Manchester City's Audi Cup final defeat to Bayern Munich and has thus far failed to feature in a single pre-season game after being diagnosed with muscle and ligament fatigue to his knee.
City's medical staff have been working with the former Atletico Madrid star on a daily basis and are confident their cautious approach in gently getting the 25-year-old up to speed is the correct way to go.
The Premier League runners-up will continue to monitor Aguero's progress in the next few days and he hopes he might even get the green light to play some part in the upcoming friendly against Arsenal in Helsinki.
Aguero is also due to join up with Argentina in the next fortnight, with national team doctors being kept in the loop, although he was absent from the squad list submitted for the friendly meeting with Italy on August 14.
The €44 million forward was plagued by a knee problem last season, which he suffered on the opening day against Southampton, and struggled to hit the heights of his debut year, when his goal in the dying moments against QPR secured the Premier League title.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini remains calm over Aguero's fitness and the fact that he is not fully ready to be involved in first-team action.
Despite losing Carlos Tevez to Juventus over the summer, the Chilean coach does have Edin Dzeko, who has been in top form during pre-season, as well as new recruits Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo.