City captain Vincent Kompany will miss their trip to Cardiff on Sunday as he recovers from a groin injury sustained in Monday’s victory over Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.
Tests on the 27-year-old’s injury have been inconclusive and there is a doubt that the Belgian defensive lynchpin will be able to play again until after the international break.
Matija Nastasic has returned to training after injuring himself during City’s pre-season tour in Hong Kong but he seems unlikely to be risked while Micah Richards is still some weeks away from fitness after his own injury problems.
This could leave City with just Joleon Lescott as a fit central defender when the Blues arrive at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been linked with veteran Argentine defender Martin Demichelis, 32, a stalwart of his Malaga side last season before signing for Atletico Madrid this summer.
If the asking price is too high then Pellegrini could utilise the City squad strength. Javi Garcia slotted in at centre back after Kompany left the pitch on Monday and could be asked to fill in again unless Pellegrini opts for youngster Dedryck Boyata who played some games on loan at FC Twente last season.