Michael Johnson has injured a knee in training and could face a long spell on the sidelines.
The England Under 21 midfielder had recently battled back from an abdominal problem that kept him out of the City side for around a year, and as well as scoring against Scunthorpe United in the Carling Cup he had regularly been back on the bench for recent matches.
Johnson will find out the full extent of his new injury in the next few days, and he has already received sympathetic backing from manager Mark Hughes, who said:
"We are all disappointed for Michael, who has worked so hard to get back into first team contention and shown everyone what a good player he is.
"Unfortunately he might be out for the season but he will receive the best possible care and attention."