Jorge Sampaoli has confirmed Sergio Aguero will not be fit to face Italy at the Etihad Stadium on Friday evening.
However, the Manchester City striker could recover in time to play a part in Tuesday’s friendly against Spain in Madrid.
Aguero injured his knee in training recently and missed City’s 2-0 win away at Stoke 10 days ago.
But after intensive treatment in Abu Dhabi on the Club’s recent warm-weather training camp, he has made good progress and could be set for a return to action when Argentina face La Roja next week..
“We have been talking to team doctors at Manchester City and evaluating the situation to see if there is any possibility he can play any part in the two games," Sampaoli said.
“It looks like he will be sitting out the first one and we will see for the second one.”
Meanwhile, Sampaoli has praised the form of Nicolas Otamendi.
The City centre-back has had a fine season, playing 39 of our 47 matches in all competitions.
His distribution and ball-paying qualities have improved dramatically over the past 12 months and Sampaoli says it’s good for Argentina to have him playing under the guidance of City boss Pep Guardiola.
“We are very happy that Nicolas is playing here at City under Guardiola,” he said.
“He’s improved tremendously during this period. We are proud of him.”