- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus has a broken bone in his right foot, putting him on the sidelines during a crucial part of the season.

The 19-year-old Brazil international “suffered a fractured metatarsal,” City said Tuesday, and will undergo further examination in the coming days to determine the length of his absence.

Gabriel Jesus hobbled off in the 15th minute of City’s 2-0 win at Bournemouth on Monday, landing awkwardly while stretching for the ball minutes earlier. A lengthy lay-off would be a big blow to City, which is in second place in the Premier League - eight points behind Chelsea with 13 games remaining.

Gabriel Jesus has made a superb start to his City career since completing his move from Palmeiras, immediately displacing Sergio Aguero as the team’s lone striker and scoring three goals in his first two Premier League starts.

City manager Pep Guardiola has been impressed with the striker’s work rate and intensity as much as his goals, and acknowledged that Gabriel Jesus has adjusted to English soccer quicker than anticipated.

Aguero’s future at City is up in the air now that he is no longer first choice, but Gabriel Jesus‘ extended absence gives the Argentina international another chance to prove he can meet the demands of his coach.

And with Guardiola having settled on his team shape, with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane out wide and both David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne as playmakers in central midfield, Aguero should fit back in seamlessly ahead of an important period in the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup.

City’s next game is against second-tier club Huddersfield in the last 16 of the FA Cup on Saturday, before City hosts Monaco in the last 16 of the Champions League. City has consecutive Premier League games against title rivals Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in late March and early April.

Gabriel Jesus has also established himself as first choice for Brazil, which faces World Cup qualifying games against Uruguay and Paraguay in late March. A win in one of those matches should secure Brazil’s qualification for next year’s tournament in Russia.

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