Sterling, who has struck 20 goals in all competitions this season so far, missed his side's FA Cup elimination to Wigan Athletic and was again omitted from the squad for Sunday's [25 February] Carabao Cup final win over the Gunners at Wembley.
Prior to those two matches, the England international was subbed off after 57 minutes in City's resounding victory over Basel in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with a hamstring problem.
Pep Guardiola has opted to exercise caution over his second-top scorer this season and suggests he is unlikely to call upon him for a second trip to the capital within a week.
"Raheem is much, much better," Guardiola said ahead of Thursday's [1 March] clash at the Emirates, City's official website reports. "I don't know if he can play tomorrow but hopefully Chelsea or Basel [he will be ready]."
Fernandinho meanwhile will also miss out after limping out of Sunday's cup final with a hamstring injury of his own. City confirmed on Tuesday they did not see the problem as "serious" however.
Fabian Delph would have been a candidate to come in and replace the Brazil international but a straight red card shown in the defeat to Wigan means he is suspended for the games against Arsenal and Chelsea.
Yaya Toure is available, although he has managed just 19 minutes of Premier League football in 2018, and has been left out of the match day squad completely in three of their last five matches.
After a weekend where City's old guard of Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero all got on the score sheet to deliver the club's first silverware of the season, Guardiola was coy on another stalwart in Toure coming back in to solve a problem in midfield.
"It depends on him, it is simple like that," Guardiola said when asked if the Ivory Coast international could be involved on Thursday, the Manchester Evening News report.
Elsewhere at City, Guardiola was quizzed on the future of teenage talent Phil Foden following reports from BBC Sport he is set to be awarded a new long-term contract when he turns 18 in May.
On the Under-17 World Cup winner, the City boss said: "He knows, his family and manager know that we would like to keep him with us for a long time," Sky Sports report. "He has to grow up and become strong but there is huge quality there."