Rob Dawson of the Manchester Evening News reports the veteran boss was previously pessimistic about the odds of the Argentine star playing as he continues to recover from a groin injury. Yet, he kept the door open with two days until the season kicks off:
Pellegrini said last week Aguero needed 'two or three weeks'. But he refused to rule him out for Newcastle. Will make decision on Sunday.— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonMEN) August 15, 2014
Obviously, it wouldn't be a surprise if City decide to play it safe on Sunday and keep him on the bench. It's too early in the season to take any risks. That said, the fact he hasn't been ruled out at least shows he's made progress toward a return.
Aguero was one of the league's most efficient strikers last season. He scored 17 goals and tallied six assists in 23 appearances. He figures to play a prominent role on the attack once again. City don't want to put him in danger of a longer absence.
Should Aguero play the opener against Newcastle?
The status update comes one day after the club announced a new five-year contract extension for the 26-year-old sensation on its official site.
The release included comments from the dynamic attacker, who pointed toward a bright future:
This club is special; the fans, the stadium, the staff, the atmosphere, the new facility we're moving into—everything. We have enjoyed lots of success and some incredible moments but the overall vision for the future and where we are going are the reasons why I wanted to stay here, to win trophies and to keep making history through my best years.
Jake Cohen of Law In Sport notes the deal will also give City some added financial flexibility:
Sergio Aguero's new deal reduces annual FFP hit from £16.1m to £11.2m. Great business by MCFC to not only lock Aguero up, but also save £.— Jake Cohen (@JakeFCohen) August 14, 2014
With the new deal in place, the only lingering question is when he'll make his first appearance of the new season. Even though Pellegrini wasn't ready to rule him out quite yet, it would still be at least a minor surprise to see him play on Sunday.
More likely, the Sky Blues will probably give him another week to rest and recover before sliding him back into the lineup for a high-profile clash with Liverpool. It's always better to be safe than sorry with so many matches on the horizon.