City Women duo Karen Bardsley and Danielle Lea are likely to miss the start of the FA Women's Super League season, having both sustained long-term injuries.
As yet, the club are unaware of the time frames each player faces to get back to full fitness, but it has been estimated that the pair could be looking at months rather than weeks, indicating that neither will be available for the start of the new campaign.
Manager Nick Cushing admitted the news is a huge setback but maintained that both players are trying to remain positive as they await the final diagnosis from the specialist.
"We’re disappointed with both injuries because neither of them are short-term – especially Dani’s," he conceded.
Until we see the specialist, we won’t know the length of time she’ll be out but we know from previous injuries at this level that it will be a long process.
"Mentally, she’s fine but obviously upset at the fact that she won’t be able to play for a while.
"Right now, we’re doing our best to keep her involved. She’s still coming to all of the training sessions and team meetings. She is still a big part of our project."
Bardsley’s injury has also come as a major blow to England as the shot-stopper has been forced to pull out of the 2014 Cyprus Cup. Cushing disclosed that although the 29-year-old is disheartened at the moment, she knows that patience will pay off in the long run.
"KB’s situation is different because although the injury isn’t as long-term, she won’t be training with us for a while,” he confessed. “She’s on crutches so she’s completely off all training.
"With her experience though, she understands that with an injury like that, she needs to recover properly. Otherwise, it will be a lasting problem.
"It’s touch and go whether she’ll make the start of the season. Until we get into the first few weeks of recovery, we won’t really know but to be honest, it’s not looking great.
"Whatever the time frame, we trust our physio to get both players fully recovered as quickly as possible."