Arsenal forward Theo Walcott faces a further month on the sidelines after ruling out returning for the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at the end of September.
Walcott damaged his cruciate knee ligaments in January and after missing the World Cup continues to undergo rehabilitation ahead of a return this season.
Reports had suggested the England international was in line for a return against rivals Spurs but while Walcott has denied such claims he admits his Arsenal comeback is weeks rather than months away.
"I haven't put a specific date or looked at a game yet," Walcott told The Sun.
"There were rumours of me coming back for the Spurs game which is definitely not going to happen, that's for sure.
"I'm taking it week by week. It tends to fly by and it's not months anymore, which is a nice feeling."
Though Walcott is approaching a return he will miss a potentially critical period of the season, with matches against champions Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Aston Villa, Southampton and Tottenham all in the month of September.
Should Walcott's prognosis be accurate he could return for the Champions League game against Galatasaray which is preceded by the visit of current league leaders Chelsea in the first week in October, while England face Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia next month also.
The blow leaves Arsenal potentially without at least eight players for the visit of City on Saturday and beyond. Serge Gnabry, David Ospina, Olivier Giroud, Mikel Arteta, Kieran Gibbs and Mesut Ozil have all been joined on the treatment table by Aaron Ramsey.
The 23 year old turned his ankle in Wales' 2-1 win over Albania on Tuesday but manager Chris Coleman is hopeful he will be involved this weekend.
"He got a kick and there was a twist in his ankle,'' Coleman said. "It was coming to the end of the game and it was pointless taking a risk with him.
"Hopefully he'll be okay for Arsenal at the weekend but we'll have to see what the next 24 to 48 hours hold.''