Carlos Tevez looks like missing out on his return trip to Old Trafford in Sunday's derby.
The little striker flies back today from Argentina determined to overcome a knee injury from international duty and pull on the Sky Blue shirt against his former club.
But Club doctor Jamie Butler and his medical team have been warned by their counterparts in Buenos Aires that for all his optimism, Tevez must be considered unlikely to make the line-up.
Assistant manager Mark Bowen said: "He is back here today and we'll assess it from there, but he is very doubtful. What we are hearing is that it's probably going to keep him out, but until the doctor assesses him hands-on we don't really know.
"The boss has been in contact with the Argentina medical team, as has our medical team. The signs are not encouraging. We wouldn't 100 per cent rule him out yet - fingers crossed and we are always hopeful, but it's very doubtful."
With Robinho ruled out for two to three weeks with a stress fracture above the ankle, fellow South American Roque Santa Cruz has made a welcome return to full training.
Both the Paraguay striker and long-term midfield absentee Michael Johnson are making progress with the full group, but Bowen added: "Whether Roque and Michael will be available I doubt very much, but it's nice to see them back anyway."