Sergio Aguero has admitted he could have suffered far worse than a broken rib in his recent car crash in Amsterdam.
The Manchester City striker was injured while spending a day off in the Dutch capital a fortnight ago when a taxi in which he was travelling crashed into a post.
Aguero's injuries were expected to keep him out of action for between two and four weeks but the 29-year-old realises the accident could have left him in a much worse condition.
Aguero told Argentina's TyC Sports: "When I got to the hospital I asked the doctor if I could play for City on the Saturday. He said, 'I don't believe so'.
"I took a moment to think and realised it's thanks to wearing a seat-belt that I'm able to talk about this at all."
Argentina's national-team doctor was quoted last week saying Aguero was likely to be sidelined for up to six weeks, but the player himself appears to have the initial prognosis in mind.
That means he could have a chance of returning to action in Saturday's Premier League clash against Stoke at the Etihad Stadium.
Aguero, who was pictured back in light training earlier this week, said: "(On Thursday) I'll rejoin the group and see how I feel, whether I'm comfortable or not."
During the interview, Aguero was also asked about the possibility of being joined at City by countryman Lionel Messi.
Rumours linking the Barcelona star with City have been common in recent years, and have always come to nothing.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's present contract situation at the Nou Camp is uncertain, but Aguero said: "City would have no money problems in regards to signing Messi, but he is a symbol of Barcelona and it would be very difficult for him to leave."
Aguero's injuries forced him to miss Argentina's crucial final World Cup qualifiers but Messi rescued a troubled campaign to secure a place in Russia next summer with a stunning hat-trick against Ecuador.
"I sent a message to Messi, a normal one, as I did to everybody," Aguero said. "I congratulated him and thanked him for all he's been doing for the national team."