Sergio Agüero is fearful he will miss Manchester City's title run-in and the summer's World Cup by returning too early from his latest hamstring injury. The Argentinian striker is set to miss Saturday's visit of Southampton, with his availability for the crucial trip to Liverpool the following weekend also in the balance.
The injury is his second hamstring problem in two months following the problem he suffered on 29 January during the 5-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur that kept Agüero out for more than a month. Having also suffered three separate hamstring issues during his time at City, this had led Agüero to take a cautious approach.
"With this recovery I am trying to do my best to be able to play again, but I cannot do it in a hurry," he told DirecTV. "I do think to myself if something happens now, I will lose the rest of the Premier League season and the World Cup."
Agüero's stance is a blow to Manuel Pellegrini as he hopes to lead City to a second championship in three seasons. The Argentinian has scored 26 times in 25 appearances and has been injured since City's 2-1 Champions League defeat to Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Agüero also stated – perhaps as a joke – that Pellegrini will not let him leave City until the European Cup is won. "He says to me that I can't leave without winning a Champions League," said the forward. "That's the objective of each player in Europe."
Of Argentina's prospects at the World Cup in Brazil, he said: "We know that we have a great team, but each match has to be played. There doesn't exist any easy matches, but I think that with the squad that we have, there are chances. It depends on us."