Manchester City star striker Sergio Aguero was stretchered off the pitch early in his club's Premier League opener against Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday with what appeared to be a knee injury.
UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 23, at 10:45 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke
Sergio Aguero has returned to the Blues' squad, and started for Manchester City in Sunday's Premier League clash with Arsenal.
The announcement was made Sunday morning via the club's official Twitter account:
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UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 17, at 7:19 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke
The striker has missed a month with a knee ligament injury.
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Update: Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7:25 a.m. ET
Aguero has returned to practice, according to Richard Jolly of ESPN. A knee injury has left the striker sidelined since Manchester City's league opener, but he almost back to full strength. His status for Saturday's clash with remains up in the air, though.
When he does return, it will provide a boost to an already dangerous City attack as the team looks to defend its Premier League title.
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UPDATE: Wednesday, August 22 at 12:15 p.m. ET by Adam Wells
After an earlier report stated Aguero would be out for four weeks, Goal.com reported via Twitter that Manchester City are targeting September 15 as the return for the star striker.
BREAKING: Manchester City announce that Sergio Aguero could be fit for the match against Stoke on September 15.— Goal UK (@GoalUK) August 22, 2012
The club's official website also posted a story on Aguero's status, including a very relieved Roberto Mancini.
“I don’t think Sergio will be out for long and we are hoping he will be back after the international break which is obviously fantastic news for him and for us,” said Mancini. "We were very worried a couple of days ago because we feared he could be out for six months or maybe even more which would have been very bad news
“It looked like a very strange injury at the time and because it was his knee, we were obviously very concerned so this news is a relief for everybody.”
That would put him at exactly four weeks from the date of the injury, which has to be a big relief to Manchester City.
Obviously, this is just a target date and things can happen, but right now, it looks like mid-September is the date for Aguero.
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UPDATE: Wednesday, August 22 at 7:20 a.m. ET by Adam Wells
All things considered, Aguero's timetable to return could have been much worse given the way he went down in the EPL opener.
According to Jamie Jackson of the Guardian, Manchester City's star striker will be out for at least month.
Sergio Agüero is expected to be out "for a month or so" following the scans that have been performed on the knee injury he sustained in Manchester City's 3-2 win over Southampton on Sunday.
Agüero, 24, has told friends that he expects to miss around four weeks after he was tackled by Nathaniel Clyne during the first half at the Etihad Stadium.
City has built up enough depth that it should be able to get through Aguero's absence without completely falling apart.
Knee injuries are delicate things, so hopefully Aguero doesn't suffer any setbacks and can help the club sooner rather than later.
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UPDATE: Monday, August 20 at 7:35 a.m. ET by Adam Wells
Manchester City did not envision Aguero going down in a heap in the first match of the Premier League season, but the recovery process is the most important step. .
According to the London Evening Standard, City manager Roberto Mancini is taking a realistic approach when looking at this situation.
"I am worried," said Mancini. "We don't know how serious it is because we need to wait maybe two days for the scan.
"But usually the knee is dangerous. The injury was so strange because it was not a bad tackle. It was not strong.
"The good thing was that he wanted to try and play. But at the moment we can't say anything."
Of course, Aguero did not sound too concerned about the injury. He posted a message for the fans on Twitter yesterday alerting them to how he was feeling.
The studies I had done revealed there's no significant injury but it was a very tough hit to my knee.— Sergio Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) August 19, 2012
Certainly, some slightly mixed signals coming from both sides. All we can do is wait on the official results from the tests to come in.
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The day's over for Aguero. Got up to walk off the field with an apparent knee injury, but is now being stretchered off. #BPLonFOX— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 19, 2012
A strong challenge by Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne forced Aguero to lay on the pitch for a few minutes. He then walked off the pitch on his own power, but had to be taken to the dressing room on a stretcher. He was replaced by Edin Dzeko.
The Argentinian striker led the club with 23 league goals last season and scored the title-winning goal in stoppage time in last year's season finale versus Queens Park Rangers. No one else on the squad scored more than 14 goals in league play.
If Aguero won't return to action for a while, how should Mancini handle the situation?
Manager Roberto Mancini may ask the club to look for reinforcements in the transfer market if Aguero is going to miss an extended period of time.
However, with world-class attacking players already in the squad such as Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, City might not need to buy a striker before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
Midfielders Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and David Silva are also capable of pushing forward and scoring goals. With their impressive attacking depth, City doesn't need to overpay for another forward in the transfer market.
If Aguero has a serious injury, it will be a huge setback for the defending champions. He's one of the five best strikers in the world, and the most dangerous forward in the squad.
Nicholas Goss is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter.