Sergio Aguero set for Liverpool return
MANCHESTER -- Sergio Aguero will sit out Manchester City's game against Southampton on Saturday, but is set to make his comeback against Liverpool the following weekend.
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Aguero, 25, who has scored 26 times this season, hurt his hamstring in City's 2-1 defeat to Barcelona on March 12, having previously spent three spells on the sidelines due to injuries.
The Argentina international has returned to training after recovering from the problem, although he is not match fit and will not even be on the bench for the visit of Mauricio Pochettino's side.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini told his prematch news conference: "Sergio is OK. He doesn't have any problems with his injury. He works just now with the squad but he just started on Thursday so he needs more work to be 100 percent fit.
"For this week it is too soon for him to start playing because he has only trained for two days, but next week against Liverpool he will not have any problems."
Pellegrini added: "He is a top player and he makes a difference. Sergio is very important for us in every game. It is a pity he can't arrive 100 percent now for Southampton."
Aguero said earlier this week that he is worried he could miss the World Cup if he tries to return too soon for City and suffers another setback.
However, Pellegrini said: "I don't think that has any relation with the World Cup. Sergio was very unlucky this season with his injuries, but I hope from now until the end of the season he will play regularly without any problem. It's very important also for him to play before the World Cup so that he arrives in the competition at his best moment."
In Aguero's absence, Pellegrini has three strikers available, with Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic all fit.
City are also without defender Matija Nastasic, who has not played since the 3-0 defeat to Chelsea on Feb. 3, due to a knee injury.
Pellegrini added: "Nastasic continues working in the gym with the physio."
Pellegrini went on to speak about another of his centre-backs, praising Martin Demichelis for helping City to keep five clean sheets in their last six league games.
Demichelis came in for heavy criticism after he was sent off in the 2-0 Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat to Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium, before conceding a penalty when Wigan knocked City out of the FA Cup.
But Pellegrini said: "Maybe, like every player he can make a mistake but he is very important for us during the season and he will continue being important.
"He is a very experienced player, with an important career here in Europe. He is a very good centre-back. I talk with the players internally and I am very happy with Martin's season. I'm sure he will be very useful for the team from now until the end of his contract ."
The Chilean also played down suggestions that midfielder Samir Nasri is set to sign a new contract soon, saying: "We are just thinking about this match we have to play against Southampton. In this moment it is not the most important thing."