Unless Pep Guardiola is trying to pull a fast one, Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus won’t be returning to match action anytime soon.
The 20-year-old is recovering from a broken metatarsal as the Citizens head towards three vital games in eight days.
First up will be the Emirates FA Cup clash with Arsenal, before a Manchester derby with local rivals United.
That’s followed by a trip to Middlesbrough, who should still have a chance of survival at that point, albeit slim.
But Guardiola admitted over the weekend that the Brazilian is ‘a little short’ in the race to be ready for the Cup semi at Wembley on April 23.
City now have one eye on Jesus returning for the FA Cup Final on May 27 – should they get there.
The news places an extra burden on Sergio Aguero, who has already played every minute of the Citizens’ last six Premier League games.
Despite netting in his last four league appearances, City will be asking a lot of their striker to produce the goods in three matches a little over a week apart.
Kalechi Iheanacho is the Sky Blues’ only other recognised striker.
But after featuring in 15 of City’s first 21 Premier League fixtures, the 20-year-old appears to have fallen out of favour in recent months.
In part that’s been a direct consequence of Jesus’ January arrival, but even while the big-money signing has been injured, Iheanacho has appeared in just two of City’s last 10 league games.
It leaves the youngster lacking match-practice if he should be called upon in the coming weeks, or else Guardiola must continue with Aguero.
Either way, it’s a far-from ideal situation as the Spaniard looks to secure a top-four spot and perhaps an FA Cup trophy.
How Pep must wish it was his Jesus coming back to life this Easter.
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