Sergio Aguero will resume full training on Tuesday as Manchester City face an anxious wait to discover if the striker will be fit to play in the Capital One Cup final against Sunderland on March 2.
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Aguero, 25, has been out since the end of January after injuring his hamstring in the 5-1 win over Tottenham, and has not figured in City’s last four games, when they have scored just two goals.
And although the Argentina international is back in light training, he will sit out Saturday’s Premier League game against Stoke with manager Manuel Pellegrini reluctant to say when he expects his 26-goal top scorer to return to action.
“We will see,” he said. “Sergio is not working 100 percent normally. I think next week, on Tuesday, he will start working with the whole squad.”
Aguero himself took to Twitter on Thursday to express his hope that he will return to training next week.
Pellegrini, meanwhile, allayed fears his captain Vincent Kompany also has a hamstring injury, adding: “He doesn't have any problem with that.”
However, centre-back Matija Nastasic, who has not featured in City’s last three games, is still sidelined.
“He still has pain in his knee and he is the only player who is not fit,” Pellegrini said.
The City boss believes there will not be any hangover from Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Barcelona when his team resume their title challenge against Stoke.
He added: “I'm sure all the players know what happened in that game, we analysed it and it can have a different relationship to the Premier League.
“They are absolutely clear in their minds that we are fighting for the Premier League and we must continue to the end. So I don't think there will be a psychological link between one competition and the other.”