Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has promised his determination to play soccer won’t see him run the risk of taking the field less than fully fit.
Aguero missed seven City matches earlier this season because of a hamstring problem suffered while on international duty with Argentina. His interrupted campaign then saw the 27-year-old sidelined for four matches with a heel injury before returning against Arsenal on Dec. 21 only to go off in the second half with a knee problem.
Aguero then found himself in the frustrating position of being an unused substitute for City’s next match against Sunderland but has since started every fixture ahead of the third-placed club’s Premier League match away to West Ham on Saturday.
“Right now I feel fit and well,” Aguero told Sky Sports News on Friday.
“With the last injury I picked up on international duty I carried on playing when I should have come off,” he added.
“That could have been avoided but you always want to play, especially for your country.
“Argentina really needed to win, so I said to myself ‘I’ve got to play’.
“I felt a twinge in my leg and with the slightest sprint I felt it again. After trying so hard to keep fit, the slightest niggle and this happened.
“Now I won’t risk myself — as happened for the game against Sunderland.
“I started the previous game at Arsenal when I felt a pain in my knee. I was told ‘that’s it, you’re coming off’.
“Now I feel like I’m getting up to full fitness for games and missing as few as possible, that’s the most important thing.
“The Premier League is so demanding that you can’t play at 80 percent. I’ve tried to do that before and that’s when I’ve injured myself,” added Aguero, who has scored 13 goals in all competition this season.
Asked what lay behind his fitness problems, Aguero said: “You’re working hard in the gym so it could be that.
“Then you think: ‘What else could it be? Could it be your diet?’ So you change it. Then no, maybe it’s not that. Last year I changed my diet. I’ve always eaten well but now I eat a few more vegetables than I did.
“As well as that I try to do things in the gym to protect the quadriceps, the hamstrings and the glutes to be fit to compete properly.”