Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola revealed that Sergio Agüero was substituted at half-time against West Ham on Saturday because the Argentine forward had picked up another injury - one of many last season's runners-up have encountered already this season.
West Ham were 1-0 up against City at the interval of their Premier League meeting before Agüero's replacement - Phil Foden - equalised in the 51st minute. This was only Agüero's third appearance since hobbling off against Burnley last June with a knee injury.
After the game, Guardiola revealed limited details about Agüero's latest fitness woes, telling City's official website: “It’s a muscular [injury]. Hamstring, I think. Tomorrow we will know.”
The Catalan coach went on to highlight the unfortunate spate of injuries and illnesses which have afflicted his squad in the opening weeks of the season, remarking: “I am not complaining about that. I could complain about the first goal, I didn't say anything. The reality is we had four of five guys with COVID. We didn’t have time for regeneration.
“Our striker [Gabriel Jesus] was injured in the first game. Sergio was out for four months. Kevin [De Bruyne] was injured. [Ilkay] Gundogan came back from COVID. To play every three days you need the whole squad. To not have the whole squad is more difficult.
“I am not saying this is the reason why, I am just putting this on the table. It’s the reality.”
To add to their injury concerns, City are in the midst of a gruelling fixture schedule with midweek Champions League games sandwiched between league matches each weekend for three weeks. City's coach touched on this congested period, explaining: “It’s time to struggle for the injuries, the lack of preparation and the tough games we play so far.
"The players did absolutely everything. Now we recover and think of the next game in the Champions League."