Sergio Aguero has handed City a major early boost with the news he could be fit for the Blues’ trip to Stoke on 15 September.
The Argentine striker was stretchered off during the 3-2 win over Southampton last Sunday and initial fears were that he could be ruled out for most of the season.
However, following a scan and a period of assessment, City boss Roberto Mancini has confirmed Aguero could be back within a month.
“I don’t think Sergio will be out for long and we are hoping he will be back after the international break which is obviously fantastic news for him and for us,” said Mancini. "We were very worried a couple of days ago because we feared he could be out for six months or maybe even more which would have been very bad news
“It looked like a very strange injury at the time and because it was his knee, we were obviously very concerned so this news is a relief for everybody.”
There was also encouraging news about two of Mancini’s other injured stars. Gareth Barry and Micah Richards could also see first-team action sooner than expected.
“Gareth will also be ready after the international break,” said the City boss. “He hasn’t played any games for almost four months and he needs to build his fitness up, but he is training again and I don’t see him being out for any longer than one month and hopefully, maybe just a couple of weeks.
“Micah’s injury is more serious and he could be out a little longer, but having said that, with rest and the right treatment, we are hopeful he could be ready in about one month, which again would be great news.”