Aguero played 25 minutes as a second-half replacement and poached the second goal in a 3-0 win over Marseille from close range.
In spite of making a goalscoring return to action for Manchester City in the Champions League, Pep Guardiola insists Sergio Aguero will not start Saturday’s derby at Old Trafford.
Complications in his meniscus surgery recovery have limited the 32-year-old to four appearances this season and Guardiola said he would take a long-term view of the fitness of his star striker after the match.
For his instincts, for his quality in the penalty area], he played well, he scored a goal, “He played well, he scored a goal – for his instincts, for his quality in the penalty area],”
“In order to compete with the other [attackers], we need him.”
“All the guys were brilliant, starting with Kyle [Walker], he is back, and ending with Ferran at the top.”
Asked if Aguero was against Manchester United in his plans for the starting XI, who headed into the encounter a point and a place above City, Guardiola replied: “No.” “He has been injured for four out of five months.”
“I’d love to feel that he’s ready, but we don’t want a setback.”
“We have to be patient for that reason. The important thing here is that he’s here.”
Guardiola added at his post-match news conference: “His desire to score goals will always be there. The important thing is that he did three or four training sessions and that the response [in the knee] was good after the training sessions.”
“He had 25 minutes today, scored a goal, and was active.”
“It’s step by step. The reaction tomorrow after this effort is the most important thing.”
Aguero recognized that his fitness remains a work in progress following June’s surgery and his subsequent setbacks, including a hamstring strain sustained at West Ham during the 1-1 draw in October.
“Happy to be back, happy for the W [win],” he tweeted.
“My knee is feeling better and I’m gradually getting back into condition. My gratitude goes to the physios, the medical and technical staff, my team-mates and the fans for all your support.”
“For the derby, Ilkay Gundogan could be a doubt, although Guardiola suggested his withdrawal against Marseille at half-time due to an ankle knock was primarily precautionary.”
“He had a knock on his ankle and was a bit disturbed the way he was running the last minutes of the first half.”
“He played 90 minutes in the last game and we didn’t want to take risks. We’ll see tomorrow and the day after tomorrow how he feels.”