Manchester City playmaker David Silva should be fit for Monday's Premier League trip to Wigan Athletic but striker Mario Balotelli is a doubt, assistant coach David Platt said on Friday.
Spaniard Silva, who missed the midweek League Cup defeat by Liverpool with an ankle problem, has been inspirational for the league leaders this term and his return would be welcome news as City try to arrest a recent slip in form.
David did a bit of running yesterday over in Spain, he'll do a little bit more when he gets back, we are hopeful he will be on the training pitch tomorrow, Platt told a news conference.
A below-par Balotelli was taken off before halftime against Liverpool with an ankle problem and Platt said the Italian was a maybe for Monday.
City's three point lead over Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur could have disappeared by the time they face Wigan.
The new year has not been kind to Roberto Mancini's men, who have mustered only one win and three defeats in the four games they have played in all competitions this month.
That includes back-to-back cup defeats, having lost 3-2 to United in the FA Cup third round last weekend before a 1-0 defeat by Liverpool in Wednesday's League Cup semi-final first leg.
Nevertheless, they have still lost only twice in the Premier League all season, scoring 56 goals already, and Platt brushed off any notion of a crisis.
We are where we are, it's not a bad position to be in, he said.
It's some crisis, isn't it really -- we're still in the League Cup semi-final, with a group of players that is quite capable of going and resurrecting that game ... and I'd hazard a guess that there's 19 clubs in the league that want to be where we are in the championship.
They will be without suspended captain Vincent Kompany for Monday's game, while fellow defender Kolo Toure and his midfielder brother Yaya are on African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast.
Wigan are second from bottom in the table and were beaten 3-0 when the teams met at the Etihad stadium earlier this season.
(Editing by Justin Palmer)