Manchester City have been handed a massive boost with the news Sergio Aguero is set to miss just two games due to the knee injury he picked up against Southampton on Sunday.
City had initially feared that Aguero, 24, could face an extended spell on the sidelines after falling awkwardly when tackled by Nathaniel Clyne in the Premier League clash at Eastlands.
Aguero scored 23 league goals last season, including the dramatic added time winner against Queens Park Rangers which earned City their first Premier League title, and a serious injury could have forced manager Roberto Mancini into the transfer market.
But those fears have now been allayed and scan results have indicated the striker should be fit to return against Stoke City on September 15. With that game coming after the international break for World Cup qualifiers, it means he will only miss the match at Liverpool on Sunday and the visit of QPR the following weekend.
"I don't think Sergio will be out for long and we are hoping he will be back after the international break which is obviously fantastic news for him and for us," Mancini told the club's official website. "We were very worried a couple of days ago because we feared he could be out for six months or maybe even more which would have been very bad news
"It looked like a very strange injury at the time and because it was his knee, we were obviously very concerned so this news is a relief for everybody."
There was also positive news on Gareth Barry and Micah Richards.
"Gareth will also be ready after the international break," Mancini added. "He hasn't played any games for almost four months and he needs to build his fitness up, but he is training again and I don't see him being out for any longer than one month and hopefully, maybe just a couple of weeks.
"Micah's injury is more serious and he could be out a little longer, but having said that, with rest and the right treatment, we are hopeful he could be ready in about one month, which again would be great news."