Sergio Aguero has until the end of the week to prove his fitness for the League Cup final after returning to full training at Manchester City.
The Argentina forward, City's leading scorer this season, has been sidelined for a month since injuring his hamstring during the Premier League victory at Tottenham.
Despite returning to light training last week, Aguero was only given the green light to resume full training yesterday.
But with City facing a crucial Champions League second-leg against Barcelona in the Nou Camp in two weeks, where they must overcome a 2-0 deficit to progress to the last eight, Aguero's fitness is being closely monitored by manager Manuel Pellegrini.
With City desperate for Aguero's goal threat in the Nou Camp, the risk of playing him against Sunderland at Wembley on Sunday will be weighed against the danger of the former Atletico Madrid forward suffering a setback that would rule him out of the trip to Spain.
With Pellegrini mindful of Aguero's need for game time before the Barcelona clash, the player is likely to be involved at some stage against Sunderland or Wigan in the FA Cup quarter-final next week before tackling the Catalan giants.
Meanwhile, City midfielder Javi Garcia admits he is targeting a place against the Black Cats on Sunday after battling to break up the Yaya Toure-Fernandinho midfield partnership this season.
Garcia has impressed in recent weeks when used by Pellegrini, but the former Benfica midfielder admits he's found life tough at City.
"It was hard last season because I was only involved occasionally and I found it difficult to get into a rhythm," said Garcia.
"I might play one or two games and then I wouldn't play for the next two or three – or be on the bench. That makes it impossible to get to the level you know you are capable of.
"My style of play means that I'm at my best when I've played regularly. There have been times when it hasn't been so easy.
"Sometimes in the quieter moments of a game, you can hear the fans maybe aren't happy with you, but things have been different recently and I know I have heard them getting behind me which helps me more.
"Every player wants to play all the time, but it's just not possible so I'm happy I've been involved as much as I have this season.
"I know there will be more opportunities to play because we are still in every competition and if we want to win them all, the manager will have to utilise his squad."
(© Daily Telegraph, London)