Yaya Toure could be out for up to two weeks with a muscle problem after limping out of Manchester City's 3-2 defeat at Liverpool.
The Ivorian was substituted in the 19th minute of Sunday's crucial tie in the Premier League title race, picking up what appeared to be a groin injury after an attempted shot at goal.
Despite initial fears he could miss the rest of the season, City coach Manuel Pellegrini revealed on Tuesday that the diagnosis was not as bad as first thought.
"Maybe it’s not as bad as we thought at the beginning, but he needs at least 10 days or two weeks to recover," said the Chilean.
There was better news elsewhere in the City squad ahead of their clash with Sunderland on Wednesday, with Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero cleared for selection.
"Vincent is fine - he on the squad list for tomorrow and so is Sergio - we'll see tomorrow who starts," added Pellegrini.
Defeat at Anfield left City seven points adrift of leaders Liverpool with two games in hand, but Pellegrini is confident his side can address the deficit.
"We win our two postponed games and we're a point back," he insisted. "If you don’t believe we can do it, you can’t believe in anything.
|Coach: B. Rodgers|
for D. Sturridge 66'
for Philippe Coutinho 89'
for R. Sterling 90+5'
|Lallana: I was trying too hard|
|Walker juggles music, football careers in Sweden|
|Song to face ´brother from another mother´ Fabregas|
|Adriano announces Le Havre deal|
|Pardew braced for Old Trafford test|
|Lescott unfazed by City reunion|
|Tskhadadze appointed Georgia coach|
|United to finish top three - Ferdinand|
|Allardyce: Stamford Bridge stalemate saved my job|
|Southampton need three January signings, says Watson|
|Liverpool can make Champions League, says fanzine editor|
|Walsh: Hull clash crucial for Leicester|
|Toure, Aubameyang and Enyeama make shortlist for African gong|
|Docherty backs Chelsea to win two-horse race|
|Liverpool could benefit from Hyypia influence - Scales|
|Saudi Arabia name Asian Cup squad|
|Forty-year-old Cahill no problem for Postecoglou|
|Wenger criticism baffles Redknapp|
|Leicester must strengthen in window - Walsh|
|United not title contenders - Docherty|
|Koeman: Southampton youngsters will get a chance|
|Dyche empathises with Liverpool striker crisis|
|Cagliari turn to Zola|
|Rooney thanks Van Gaal for Christmas break|
|Cruzeiro offer Paulinho Tottenham exit chance|
|Carlisle´s wife grateful to Burnley|
|Katebe called up to Zambia AFCON squad|
|Cape Verde name AFCON squad|
|Finke names much-changed Cameroon squad|
|Grant omits World Cup troublemakers for AFCON|
|Blackpool striker Ranger goes AWOL|
|Allardyce relishing Mourinho meeting|
|Ashley fails to increase Rangers stake|
|Crystal Palace v Southampton: Koeman calls for focus|
|Warnock targeting striker in January|
|Chelsea v West Ham: Adrian vows visitors will attack|
|Heskey signs short-term deal at Bolton|
|Everton v Stoke City: Martinez eyes strong form|
|Juninho defends David Luiz|
|Burnley v Liverpool: Dyche defends Rodgers ahead of Turf Moor test|
|Arsenal v QPR: Wenger eyes festive momentum|
|Liverpool are growing in confidence, says Rodgers|
|Redknapp: Austin future could depend on survival|
|Martinez wants Everton consistency|
|Barca want Neymar until 2020, says agent|
|Jones undeterred by pressure of Liverpool starting role|
|Allardyce ´knows how to beat managers´ - Carroll|
|Jones playing for a new contract|
|China select Evergrande spine for Asian Cup|
|A-League Preview: Koren tips City to build|
|Khedira keen to fight for Real spot|