Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne is unlikely to be fit to face his old club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Dec. 8, sources have told ESPN FC.
The Belgium international is yet to return to full training after a knee injury and is not expected to be ready for the Premier League clash with Bournemouth on Saturday or trip to Watford on Tuesday.
City are hopeful that Bernardo Silva could be back for the home clash with Eddie Howe's side after an injury picked up on international duty with Portugal, which has ruled him out of City's last two matches.
Ilkay Gundogan also missed Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Lyon in the Champions League with a bruised foot. But, with games coming thick and fast, it could present another opportunity for manager Pep Guardiola to give academy youngster Phil Foden his first Premier League start.
City are being cautious with De Bruyne's return to ensure he does not suffer any setbacks after he missed the first two months of the season with ligament damage picked up in training.
De Bruyne, 27, was making just his second start of the season when he suffered the injury to a different knee against Fulham in the Carabao Cup on Nov. 1.
The club had expected to be without him for six weeks and he could now make his return in the Champions League clash with Hoffenheim on Dec. 12.
Benjamin Mendy, Claudio Bravo and Eliaquim Mangala are all long-term absentees for the club.