Hoping

fitness

Gabriel Jesus hoping to prove fitness for a Man City return against Olympiacos

Gabriel Jesus is hoping to prove his fitness for Manchester City’s Champions League clash with Olympiacos on Tuesday.

The Brazil striker has been of action since suffering a thigh injury in City’s first Premier League match of the season at Wolves in September.

The 23-year-old is now back in training and, with Sergio Aguero also sidelined, a potential return against the Greeks would give City a lift.

City have played without a specialist centre forward in recent games, with winger Ferran Torres filling in in the position against Marseille last week and Sheffield United on Saturday.

Manager Pep Guardiola was still unsure whether Jesus would be ready as he held his pre-match press conference on Monday lunchtime.

He said: “It’s too early to know. We’ll see the last training session. He did one training session with part of the team but we are happy he is back.

“We are waiting for Sergio but we are happy with Ferran so we have an alternative.”

Winger Ferran Torres has played as a makeshift striker (Rui Vieira/PA)

Guardiola insisted Sunday’s looming encounter with Premier League champions Liverpool would not affect his thinking for the Olympiacos game.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “You cannot make a false step in the Champions League because after that you struggle. We have an incredible opportunity to make a huge step to qualify for the next round.”

City have opened their Champions League Group C campaign with back-to-back victories over Porto and Marseille and Guardiola wants to maintain the momentum to wrap up qualification for the knock-out stages as soon as possible.

He said: “We are only in the beginning of the season. November, December, January is very demanding in this country so tomorrow is incredibly important to go onto nine points, and be incredibly close, and then we can handle this competition with the Premier League a little bit better.”

Sergio Aguero has had an injury-hit start to the campaign (Paul Childs/PA)

Guardiola remains unsure when record goalscorer Aguero will be fit to return after a hamstring injury. The Argentinian has not been categorically ruled out of the Liverpool encounter but he seems more likely to back later in the month.

Guardiola said: “He’s getting better but I don’t know. We don’t want him to have a setback but he’s getting better.

“I don’t know about Liverpool but I think, for sure, after the international break he will be ready.”

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health

US Hoping For Two Covid-19 Vaccines By End Of November

Two American companies expect to apply for emergency approval for their Covid-19 vaccines by late November, welcome news as the US hits a third surge of its coronavirus epidemic and approaches its eight millionth case.

Pfizer said Friday it hopes to move ahead with its vaccine after safety data is available in the third week of November, a couple of weeks after the November 3 presidential election.

The announcement means the United States could have two vaccines ready by the end of the year, with Massachusetts biotech firm Moderna aiming for November 25 to seek authorization.

“So let me be clear, assuming positive data, Pfizer will apply for Emergency Authorization Use in the US soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November,” the company’s chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in an open letter. The news lifted the company’s shares two percent in the US.

But experts warn that even when vaccines are approved, it will take many months until they are widely available.

In any case, they are unlikely to be a good substitute for mask wearing, social distancing and other recommended behavior to curb transmission because we don’t know how effective they will be.

After falling numbers throughout the summer, the country hit an inflection point in its coronavirus outbreak around the second week of September — with a new daily case average of more than 50,000 according to the latest figures, and the trajectory is upward.

With a shade under eight million confirmed infections and more than 217,000 deaths, America is the hardest-hit country in the world.

The US never came close to returning to its baseline after its first wave in spring, meaning the current spike can be more accurately termed a third surge.

Geographically, the major hotspots are in the Upper Midwest and parts of the Rocky Mountains in the west, while parts of the Northeast that were hit hard in spring are seeing their outbreaks starting to rekindle.

Harvard surgeon and health policy researcher Thomas Tsai told AFP there were multiple factors behind the rising cases — from under testing in the Midwest to authorities failing to monitor the reopening of bars and restaurants and dialing back when necessary.

Pfizer aims to be ready to go with tens of millions of doses of its Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year Pfizer aims to be ready to go with tens of millions of doses of its Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Jeenah Moon

What’s more, “from the contact tracing reports from various municipalities and states, the worry is that the spread is driven now, by indoor social gatherings in people’s homes,” he added, as the focus of social life shifts from public to private spaces in the colder weather.

One bright sign is that Covid-19 treatments have improved markedly, and since the cases are more spread out than before, hospitals aren’t being overwhelmed.

Widespread mask use might also mean that when people do get infected, they have less virus in their body which makes them less sick.

While vaccines are a crucial

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