Sergio Aguero remains unavailable for Manchester City as he continues to self-isolate after contracting coronavirus.
City’s record goalscorer is now feeling better after being unwell but has not yet been given the all-clear to resume training.
That means the Argentina striker, who has started just three games this season, will not be involved as Premier League leaders City host bottom side Sheffield United this weekend.
“Sergio is not yet here,” said manager Pep Guardiola at his pre-match press conference. “When he tests negative he will come back. We still don’t have the results yet.
“It is the same guys (available) that were in the last games.”
Aguero, 32, has been in quarantine for the past three weeks, first after being identified as a close contact of someone else to have tested positive for Covid-19, then after displaying symptoms himself.
Prior to that injuries had already restricted him to just nine appearances this season.
His continuing absence means City are currently without two of their key players as Kevin De Bruyne is also sidelined.
The Belgium playmaker could be out at least another month with a hamstring injury.
City’s recent good run continued without either of them as they thrashed West Brom 5-0 on Tuesday to move to the top of the table.
It was their 11th successive win in all competitions and featured two goals from in-form midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who has now scored seven in his last 10 appearances.
His performances make him certain to feature against the Blades at the Etihad Stadium.
Asked if Gundogan may be rested ahead of games against Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal in the next month, Guardiola said on Friday: “Definitely not. Gundo is going to play tomorrow.”
Guardiola is not taking Sheffield United lightly after Chris Wilder’s side pulled off a surprise win away at Manchester United on Wednesday. That result allowed City to retain top spot.
He said: “One of the special things of this country in the Premier League, anything can happen, nothing is guaranteed.
“We have to do it. We don’t have to go back (far), because a few days ago they won at Old Trafford. That is the Premier League. Everybody knows how difficult it is, every single game.
“Of what I saw before the United game, Sheffield (United) is a team that is alive from their body language. That is not easy with the results they have got this season and that speaks incredibly well about Chris, his staff and the players.
— Andy Hampson (@andyhampson) January 29, 2021
“The result against United speaks for itself. Everybody knows how difficult it is to win at Old Trafford.”
Guardiola was unwilling to discuss the future of defender Eric Garcia. The 20-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract, has made clear he wants to leave and has persistently been linked with a return to boyhood club Barcelona.
That move seems likely but whether it happens before Monday’s transfer deadline or in next summer’s window remains to be seen.
“I don’t want to say anything about this case,” Guardiola said. “He’s our player, the transfer window finishes in a few days. We are fully committed with him while he is here because he is an exceptional player and guy and that’s all.”