Manchester - Manuel Pellegrini has revealed Sergio Aguero required half-time treatment on a hamstring injury before his remarkable five-goal spree in Manchester City's 6-1 demolition of Newcastle.
After failing to score in five league games, since netting against Chelsea in mid-August, Argentina forward Aguero claimed five goals in 20 minutes and 27 seconds at Eastlands on Saturday, making him just the fifth player in Premier League history to score five times and the fastest ever to record that feat.
Yet, after Aguero joined Alan Shearer, Andrew Cole, Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov in that exclusive group, City manager Pellegrini said there had been injury concerns about his star at the interval, at which point City were drawing 1-1 after Aguero claimed an equaliser late in the first half.
Pellegrini's decision to send Aguero back out was rewarded in spectacular fashion before he came off after 66 minutes, denying him the chance to become the first player to score a double hat-trick in the Premier League era.
"We don't know he can score more goals but we know he has a serious kick from Wednesday in Germany so maybe he can score one or two more but we have to have a precaution about his kick because he can be injured. He needed treatment at half-time," Pellegrini said.
"Maybe it was very good treatment! He had a kick at the back of his hamstring and it was important just to relax him a little bit because he was not 100 per cent comfortable."
Aguero's astonishing spree came at a time when he had been hinting that his goal touch was returning, finding the net from the penalty spot in the League Cup at Sunderland and in the midweek victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
"It was very important for him to keep calm," said Pellegrini of the recent drought.
"He was not nervous because he was not scoring. He knows that with the way we play and with his quality he will score.
"For me, also, it was very important once again to have the style of play we are going to continue having here.
"He is always calm. I think he was very happy after the game because I repeat he was calm but he wants to score.
"He is a scoring player and wants to be top of the scoring players and was not scoring the amount of goals he usually does.
"He was very happy and I hope he would continue the same way."
More importantly for City's title hopes, Pellegrini is hopeful Aguero can steer clear of some of the injuries that have forced him onto the sidelines for extended spells during his City career.
"I think last season Kun finished the season without any problems," Pellegrini said.
"And since the start of the new season he is doing a lot of different things so I am not worried he will have muscle injuries.
"Maybe the kinds of fouls against Crystal Palace can injure him, but muscle injuries I don't think he will have any more."
Aleksandar Mitrovic handed Newcastle a shock lead only for Aguero to equalise before the break and Kevin De Bruyne joined Aguero on the City scoresheet in the second half to leave winless Newcastle bottom of the table.
"We looked a very good Premier League team in the first half," said manager Steve McClaren.
"In the second half we didn't look a very good team. We need consistency over 90 minutes. There's a team in there, we've seen that, but we need to produce that for 90 minutes.
"Desire is bound to be an issue when you concede five goals in 13 minutes, we've got an issue there.
"We have shown today what our strengths are, what this team is capable of doing. We have also shown what are our weaknesses and what we're capable of not doing."