Man City striker Aguero breaks rib in car crash

LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester City’s Argentine striker Sergio Aguero has broken a rib in a road accident in the Netherlands and will miss Saturday’s Premier League game at Chelsea with World Cup qualifiers also doubtful.

The 29-year-old, scorer of six goals in six league appearances this season, had been attending a concert in Amsterdam on his day off.

“The taxi I was riding (in) made a wrong turn and crashed against a (street) pole. It was a very heavy slam but seatbelts prevented it from being worse,” he said on Twitter after returning to Manchester.

“It’s a broken rib. Hurts, but I‘m fine, fully focused on recovery. Thank you all.”

Manager Pep Guardiola, speaking to reporters before Aguero had seen club doctors, said the player was definitely out of Saturday’s game between league leaders City and champions Chelsea.

He also cast doubt on Aguero travelling to Argentina for World Cup qualifiers next month.

“Exactly how many days he will be off, I don’t know right now,” he said, adding that he had “no problem” with Aguero being in Amsterdam.

“I think the players have to rest mentally and physically. They can enjoy their lives. I want my players to have fun,” he said. “If they decide to go there, they decide to go there. It is OK for me.”

Dutch police said the accident happened on Amsterdam’s De Boelelaan (street).

“There’s a small bend in the street right there and presumably the chauffeur lost control of the wheel,” said a spokesman.

“Two people were taken to hospital for observation. We did not hear back further about their condition.”

Aguero had earlier posted a picture of himself on his Instagram account seated in the back of a car thanking Colombian singer Maluma, who was also in the photo, for the invitation.

The player’s first club, Independiente, said on Twitter: “Strength and fast recovery. All Independiente is with you at this difficult time.”

City had already been dealt an injury blow this week when defender Benjamin Mendy was found to have ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Guardiola said the French international would have surgery on Friday and be out until April.

City captain Vincent Kompany is also some way off returning from injury, despite being named in Belgium’s squad.

“Kompany? No way. He didn’t make one training session with us since one month ago,” he said.

“I spoke with (Belgium manager) Roberto Martinez who told me he’s travelling there to make a meeting with the Belgian doctor but he’s coming back. Of course he cannot play with Belgium.”

City are level on 16 points with Manchester United at the top of the table with Chelsea in third place on 13, and Aguero is one goal away from equalling Eric Brooks’ all-time club record of 177 goals in all competitions.

The international break follows the weekend’s Premier League matches with Aguero in Argentina’s squad for their last two World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Ecuador on Oct. 5 and 10.

Argentina are fifth in the South American group standings for Russia 2018 and need to move up a place to avoid facing a home and away playoff against New Zealand. Peru are one above them on goal difference.

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