PEP GUARDIOLA has admitted that it could be next season before Gabriel Jesus pulls on a Manchester City shirt again.
The Brazil forward had an operation in Barcelona on Thursday after breaking a bone in his foot during Monday’s 2-0 Premier League win at Bournemouth.
Jesus had made a superb start to his City career following his arrival from Palmeiras at the start of January – scoring in each of his first two league starts, against West Ham and Swansea.
He is expected to spend some of his recovery time back home in Brazil, with City hoping that he might yet be back in action before the end of the campaign.
But Guardiola has made clear that he will not rush the forward back, and wants to be certain he has regained full fitness before throwing him back into action.
The City manager said: “So last night, there was an operation. It was good, really good. The important thing is a good recovery.
“He’s coming back when he is fit. I don’t know if it will be the end of this season or next season. Now we’re giving all our support to him and his family and waiting for him to come back.”
Asked if that meant there was a chance that Guardiola would not be back this season, Guardiola added: “I don’t know. His recovery is between two and three months.”
Jesus’ injury means that Sergio Aguero is set to be pushed into the central attacking role when City host Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.