Manchester City have been handed a boost with the news that striker Sergio Aguero will return to full fitness for the Premier League trip to Stoke City on 15 September despite picking up a knee injury against Southampton.
Aguero, City's top scorer during their 2011/12 title winning campaign, twisted his knee after a tackle with Saints full-back Nathaniel Clyne during the opening weekend win.
The Argentine international was subsequently stretched off leading to uncertainty over his long-term fitness.
But manager Roberto Mancini said: "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.
"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."
While the 24 year old will miss the trip to Liverpool this Sunday and the home game with QPR on 1 September, he will return to face Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on 15 September following the international break.
Aguero scored 30 goals in his first season for City last term, following his summer move from Athletico Madrid, including the winning goal against Queens Park Rangers on the final day of last season, which helped deliver the club's first top flight title for 44 years.
Mancini also delivered some positive news surrounding fellow injury victims Gareth Barry and Micah Richards.
Neither have featured this season for the Premier league champions, with Richards' last appearance coming for Team GB during the London 2012 Olympic football tournament, while Barry missed Euro 2012 with a stomach injury.
"Gareth will also be ready after the international break," added Mancini.
"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."
Their respective injuries are likely to delay their international returns with both now rated as major doubts for England's World Cup qualifying double header against Moldova and Ukraine at the start of next month.