Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has received a boost with the news Micah Richards' ankle injury is not as bad as first feared.
The defender did not sustain a break to his ankle in the 2-2 draw at Newcastle last night but strained ligaments instead.
However, he still faces a spell on the sidelines, starting with the Barclays Premier League match against Stoke on Sunday.
Nedum Onuoha, who has had his own injury problems, came on for Richards and could retain his place.
Hughes said: ''We just had to throw him in there and, given the circumstances, I thought he did okay.
''So we have got cover there but ideally we would prefer to have Micah fit and well for the weekend.
''We'll be up against opposition that are going to throw balls into our box and challenge for everything. We need to be able to stand up to that and I demand a reaction.''