Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is short of defensive options for tonight's trip to Sunderland following the loss of Vincent Kompany to injury.
City's influential captain suffered a hamstring problem in the latter stages of the champions' Premier League victory at Southampton on Sunday and will not feature at the Stadium of Light.
That means Pellegrini will now have to field a different centre-back pairing as Eliaquim Mangala is suspended after his sending off at St Mary's.
Right-back Bacary Sagna could therefore be pressed into action in the centre or fringe player Dedryck Boyata could be drafted in alongside Martin Demichelis.
Pellegrini (left) said: "We have Dedryck Boyata, he is working very well, we have also Martin Demichelis, we have Bacary Sagna. So we have three options. We will see which two of them will play."
Matija Nastasic, who has been out of favour this season, might have been a possibility but Pellegrini revealed that he too is currently crocked.
The Chilean said: "Unfortunately for him, he is again injured. He has had two long injuries this season. He has a muscle injury in his thigh. I don't know if he will be able to work with the squad for one week more so he is not an option."
City are still to learn the full extent of Kompany's problem and are waiting on the results of further assessment on Tuesday afternoon.
The champions had to finish the game on Sunday with nine men after Kompany left the field, with midfield talisman Yaya Toure filling in at the back.
That is not a situation likely to be repeated with Pellegrini preferring to keep Toure in his familiar role.
Pellegrini said: "He played in that position many years ago but I don't think it is his position in this moment. It was just the last minutes (at Southampton).
"They had very tall players and we needed a centre-back so, between him and Fernandinho, it was better for Yaya. (Against Sundarland) I don't think he will play in that position."