Sergio Aguero is set to start Manchester City’s FA Cup third-round tie against Birmingham on Sunday, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
Aguero, City’s record goalscorer, has not started a game since October due to knee and hamstring problems.
Guardiola said at a press conference on Friday: “Yesterday he trained really well, today he was off. Tomorrow if he feels good he is going to play.”
Aguero missed the end of last season, including City’s involvement in the rearranged Champions League mini-tournament in Portugal in August, and the start of the current campaign after undergoing knee surgery.
His comeback has been complicated by further discomfort in the knee and a hamstring injury. He has made just nine appearances this season.
Guardiola said: “He’s had a tough injury, really tough. But the important thing is his mood is exceptional, I would say better than ever.
“The last 10 days, two weeks, his knee’s reaction has been really good. This is the best news we could have.
“He’s going to start and the minutes (he will play) will be dictated by his level, or his performance or his knee will dictate. If he could play 90 minutes it would be great, 60 minutes or 30 minutes would be great. The important thing is quality minutes.”
Guardiola hoping for more players to return
City have been without eight players following positive tests for Covid-19 since Christmas Day.
Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus are now available again after completing their periods of isolation. Ederson, Ferran Torres and Tommy Doyle are expected to be the next to return.
Guardiola said: “If they are negative on Friday maybe they can be released for a first training session.”