Manchester City have been handed a welcome boost ahead of the weekend, with Sergio Aguero on track to return to action just two weeks after suffering a broken rib in a car crash.
The Argentinian suffered the injury when the taxi he was travelling in veered off the road and collided with a post during a break in Amsterdam ahead of the Premier League clash with Chelsea. Aguero confirmed that he had broken his ribs following the accident and was expected to face an extended spell on the sidelines, with some suggesting he could miss up to six weeks, but resumed light training this week and came through unscathed.
The Mirror reports the 29-year-old could return as early as Saturday (14 October), when City host Stoke City as they look to clinch a seventh win in eight games in the Premier League. Aguero's premature return is very positive news for Pep Guardiola, particularly as Gabriel Jesus is only expected to return from international duty on Thursday (12 October).
The Brazilian scored twice for his country as they beat Chile 3-0, but with such a short turnaround before City return to Premier League action, he might struggle to play the whole 90 minutes.
Aguero and Jesus have developed a formidable partnership at the Etihad, with the former scoring seven goals in eight games, while the latter has found the net five teams in nine appearances in all competitions.
The former Atletico Madrid man needs one goal to equal Eric Brook's all-time City record of 177 and will relish the chance of facing Stoke, against whom he has scored eight goals in nine meetings.
The Potters arrive at the Etihad, where they have won just once in the last 10 games in all competitions, after beating Southampton 2-1 two weeks ago, in what was only their second league win of the season.
City, on the other hand, went into the international break leading Manchester United by virtue of their superior goal difference and are already five points clear of third place. Guardiola's men could be alone at the top of the table come Saturday evening, as United travel to Liverpool in the lunchtime kick-off in what could prove to be a difficult trip for Jose Mourinho's side.
Liverpool are United's first big test of the season, while City dismantled the Reds 5-0 last month and clinched an inspired 1-0 win away against Chelsea in the final fixture before the international break.