LONDON: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has suffered a broken rib in a car crash in the Netherlands, dealing a major blow to the Premier League leaders’ title aspirations.
Aguero had established himself as the driving force behind City’s surge to the top of the table with six Premier League goals this season.
The 29-year-old sustained the injury after a taxi taking him to an Amsterdam airport following a music concert was involved in an accident on Thursday night.
Aguero tweeted later on Friday that fortunately for him he had been wearing a seat belt.
“It was a very heavy slam but seatbelts prevented it from being worse,” tweeted the Argentinian star who, said his club on Friday, will now be ruled out for two to four weeks.
It was originally feared that he would be missing for around two months.
Aguero also posted a tweet with a photo of himself posing with a thumbs-up.
“I’m home in Manchester after an exam by club Drs. It’s a broken rib. Hurts, but I’m fine, fully focused on recovery. Thank you all!” he tweeted.
City manager Pep Guardiola said Aguero will miss City’s clash at champions Chelsea on Saturday, and is also set to be sidelined for Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers early in October.
Indeed it will be the Argentinians who could count the cost of his absence more keenly as they are struggling to make the top four automatic places for the 2018 finals.
Guardiola insisted he had no problem with Aguero being in Amsterdam on his day off.
“A day off is to be happy,” he said. “I am a trainer who doesn’t want to train every day because they (the players) need to rest, mentally and physically.”
Amsterdam police spokesman Frans Zuiderhoek told AFP that officers attended an accident in the city at around 11:00pm (2100 GMT) on Thursday after “a taxi-cab hit a lamp-post”.
He could not confirm the identities of the two passengers and the driver, who all asked to remain anonymous.
“No other vehicles were involved,” he told AFP early on Friday, adding that three people in the taxi “have been transferred to hospital for observation… but there were no bad injuries”.
The accident occurred on De Boelelaan street, said Zuiderhoek, not far from the Arena A where Colombian singer Maluma performed on Thursday.
Television images showed a black cab, mounted on the grassy middle of a busy four-lane highway, the front staved in after it apparently ploughed front first into a tall blue-and white striped lamppost.
It was surrounded by at least two ambulances and two police cars.
Aguero, who has scored 176 goals for the English club, on Thursday posted a picture of himself with Maluma on his official Instagram page.
Aguero’s former club Independiente posted a message of support on Twitter, saying: “Strength and speedy recovery @aguerosergiokun! All @Independiente is with you at this difficult time.”
The striker, whose side are above Manchester United on goal difference, needs only two more goals to pass Eric Brook as City’s all-time leading scorer and is widely viewed as one of the world’s most feared strikers.