Sergio Aguero needs "a miracle" to be fit for the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on December 7 through injury, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
Aguero is City's leading scorer in the Premier League this season, with nine to his name from 12 outings.
It has been feared that the 31-year-old could now face an extended spell on the sidelines, as City approach a hectic festive period which could have a huge bearing on this season's title race.
When asked if Aguero will miss a crucial clash with Manchester United next month, Guardiola responded: "Yes."
He added on how long the Argentine is likely to be out of action: "A few games. I don’t know exactly.
"The derby is in two weeks. Maybe we will have a miracle, but I don’t think so.
"He has a tendon problem and will be a few games out. We will miss Sergio.
"We have had some problems with injuries but we will wait for him and meantime we have Gabriel [Jesus] and [Raheem] Sterling who can play in that position.
"We have no other injuries. David Silva had cramp but he’s okay."
Jesus has been restricted to just four Premier League starts this term, but is likely to be drafted in for Aguero while he recovers from his tendon issue.
The Brazil forward insists he is ready to fill the void left in Guardiola's line up by a key performer, with it his desire to keep improving and stake a claim for a more permanent spot in the City team.
"I'm not happy because Sergio is injured," he told a press conference on Monday. "I don’t like it when my friends are injured but I work hard every day. I’m ready to play and show every time that I want to improve. I’m ready.
"When I decided to come here I knew it would be hard because we have Sergio who is the top scorer in the club and scores every game. I knew this. But I have a chance to play with Pep, with top, top players here at a big club. So that is why I came, to enjoy and learn."
City are back in Champions League action at home to Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, and can qualify for the last 16 if they pick up a draw or a win against the Ukrainian outfit.
Guardiola will then prepare his team for a trip to Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, before another tough away game at Burnley three days later.