Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain has admitted that his side are praying for the fitness of teammate Sergio Aguero, as they prepare for the World Cup’s knockout stages.
Aguero has already been ruled out of Tuesday’s last-16 clash with Switzerland after picking up a hamstring injury in the first-half of the 3-2 victory over Nigeria, and there are fears that the Manchester City striker could miss further games should Argentina progress.
‘We know Sergio Aguero has been an important player in Argentina’s progression to the knockout stages,’ Higuain said. ‘We hope he recovers as soon as possible.
‘Now we have this situation where we must support him and pray he recovers as quickly as possible.’
Aguero is coming off an injury-hit season with City, in which the 26-year-old was restricted to 23 Premier League appearances during the club’s title-winning campaign, and his fitness issues have seemingly carried over into the summer.
The former Atletico Madrid star still managed to score 17 times in the league, however, and, with an international record of 21 goals in 54 games, he is arguably the most fundamental piece of the Argentina lineup after captain Lionel Messi.
Despite picking up maximum points on their way to topping Group F, Alejando Sabella’s side have largely underwhelmed thus far, requiring talisman Messi to rescue them in all three games. The rest of the squad will need to pick up the slack if they are to have any hope of matching their pre-tournament expectations.
That will prove especially the case for frontmen Higuain and Ezequiel Lavezzi, who will now be relied upon even more heavily, as they try to fill the goalscoring shoes of Aguero for at least the next game.