Manuel Pellegrini is optimistic Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany can return from injury in Tuesday’s clash with Newcastle United.
Kompany has been absent since injuring a calf muscle in last month’s Champions League victory over Dynamo Kiev and will miss Saturday’s trip to Chelsea.
City boss Pellegrini is more hopeful, however, over the Belgium international’s participation against the struggling Magpies in midweek.
He told a news conference: “Kompany is working but he’s not in the squad list for tomorrow. I hope he will play on Tuesday.”
David Silva (ankle) and Raheem Sterling (groin) will also miss the Chelsea game but Pellegrini was able to provide a more positive outlook on the England man.
“Silva is out. Sterling has started working and hopefully he’ll be ready for Tuesday. All the other players are fit,” he said.
“I think Silva will manage the situation until the end of the season, but it’s difficult for him to play two games in a row in quick succession, he has pain in his ankle.”
Yaya Toure is set to feature at Stamford Bridge having made a late cameo in the 1-0 Champions League quarter-final, second leg victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night that secured City a last-four place against Real Madrid.
Pellegrini added: “Yaya, when 100 per cent fit, is an important player and can make a difference starting or playing 30 minutes.”
In the absence of Silva and Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne will again be expected to provide the ammunition for Sergio Aguero.
De Bruyne has been in scintillating form since returning from a knee injury, culminating in him scoring the winner in midweek against PSG.
“He’s very important for me. If you have all your players 100 per cent fit it’s better,” said Pellegrini. “For different reasons we couldn’t have that and when Kevin returned he demonstrated how important he was.
“He’s a young player and it depends how he improves. He keeps the ball well and he has goals in him. I think we’ll see him improving.
“Kevin is very professional he wants to reach the top with City.”