Sergio Aguero will miss next month’s Manchester derby after being ruled out for “a few weeks” with a thigh injury.
The Manchester City striker hobbled out of the champions’ Premier League win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Manager Pep Guardiola is unsure how long the Argentinian will be sidelined but is resigned to him missing the visit of rivals Manchester United in just over a fortnight’s time, on December 7.
Guardiola, speaking at a press conference to preview Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk, said: “He will be out a few games. I don’t know exactly for a few weeks he will be out.”
Asked if the 31-year-old will miss the derby, Guardiola said: “Yes.”
Pushed further on the matter, he added: “Maybe we will have a miracle but I don’t think so.”
Aguero’s absence will mean opportunities for Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus. The 22-year-old has scored five goals this season but started only eight times due to the presence of Aguero.
Jesus, who was sat alongside Guardiola, said: “I am not happy because Sergio is injured. I don’t like it when my friends are injured but I work here every day and I am ready to play.”
Jesus admits it is frustrating to be on the bench regularly but he is not complaining.
He said: “It is not easy. Sometimes I am not happy because I want to play but I keep on working.
“When I decided to come to City I knew it is going to be hard because we have Sergio, who is the top scorer of the club and he scores every game.
“I know this but I think I have a chance to play with Pep, with top players here and at great big club, so that is why I came, to enjoy and learn.”
Guardiola was also asked about the future of his highly-rated assistant Mikel Arteta, who has again been linked with his former club Arsenal.
Arteta was touted as a potential successor to Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium last year and his name is again being put forward with current Gunners boss Unai Emery under pressure.
Guardiola said: “From the news I have Unai Emery is the manager of Arsenal.
“Of course he (Arteta) will be a manager sooner or later. We are going to finish the season but in future I don’t know what will happen.
“I’d like him to stay with us as much as possible. Manchester City has an incredible, valuable person to work in this club for the future, but personal life is personal life and professional desire is for professionals.
“Everyone, not just me, is more than satisfied to have him here but what happens at the end of the season I don’t know.”
City, five points clear at the top of Group C, are under little pressure heading into Tuesday’s match.
A draw will be sufficient to secure their place in the last 16 for a seventh successive year with a game to spare.
Guardiola said: “The position we have is good. We have 10 points but we are not qualified and I know that Shakhtar and (Dinamo) Zagreb can win both games and we will be out.
“Tomorrow we have the chance to close the group stage. We have to do our best to go to Zagreb (for the last game) with the job done.”