Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has said that Vincent Kompany is unlikely to be fit to face Aston Villa on Monday.
Kompany, 26, has been sidelined since limping off in the FA Cup fourth-round win at Stoke on January 26, and has yet to resume full training after suffering setbacks since then.
And while next Saturday's FA Cup clash against Barnsley is a more realistic date for the City captain's comeback, Mancini is still not certain that the defender will be available then.
"Vinnie [Kompany] is getting better in this moment," he said. "We hope we can recover him for the next game. We try for Aston Villa on Monday but it is difficult because he did not train with the team, he trained with the physio.
"We hope for the FA Cup (against Barnsley). The calf is a strange injury because you think you are ok and then you have a problem."
City, meanwhile, can welcome back Gareth Barry from an ankle injury for the match against his former club.
The England international has not played for three weeks since the 3-1 defeat at Southampton, where he scored an own goal.
"I think he will be ok for Monday," Mancini said. "He trained with the team the last two days and I think he will be ready."
Monday's opponents Villa may find themselves in the bottom three but Mancini feels that Paul Lambert's young team deserve to stay up.
"Maybe they have young players and this is the reason they fight for relegation," he said. "Probably they don't deserve to stay there."