Manchester City defender Jerome Boateng is to undergo knee surgery and may only be fit for the final two Premier League games of the season.
City manager Roberto Mancini has revealed the full extent of Boateng's injury, which was sustained while on international duty with the Germany team last week.
Mancini said: "He will have surgery in the next two or three days. Maybe he will be fit for the last two games."
There was more positive news coming out of Eastlands regarding Micah Richards. Mancini said he was hoping that the defender, who suffered a hamstring injury last week while with the England Under-21 team, will be fit in time for the semi-final clash with rivals Manchester United at Wembley on April 16.
"We are trying to get him fit for the semi-final. I don't know if it is possible but we hope," said Mancini.
The twin problem, coupled with Kolo Toure's continued absence following his failed drugs test, leaves City struggling for defenders ahead of their Premier League encounter with Sunderland.
At least Pablo Zabaleta has returned after flying back to South America to visit his ill father.