The problem with absorbing the initial worker is that you lose a lot of time improving tiles. A mine can change each of those sugar tiles from producing one shield to producing two shields, but if your initial worker is added to the city, he's not mining those tiles. At size 3, you'll need additional tiles to work beyond those two sugars unless you're planning to build a settler so quickly as to make time spent at size 3 essentially irrelevant (in which case you end up with two cities early but no workers to improve tiles for either of them).
I've always been a firm believer in building enough workers to more or less keep up with city growth. With agricultural civs starting on rivers, I've even taken to making a second worker a priority most of the time (especially if some kind of food bonus is also available) before my traditional granary. What the workers cost in city size, they more than make up for by letting the city get more out of the size it does have, or at least such has always been my belief.