Roberto Mancini has confirmed that Carlos Tevez will miss Tuesday's Premier League encounter with Stoke after being allowed to return to Argentina for family reasons.
Tevez was missing on Saturday evening as Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Tony Pulis' men in the FA Cup fifth round, and Mancini is already planning without his star striker for the midweek rematch.
"I don't think Carlos will be here," said Mancini. "Hopefully he will be back in three days but that would mean he couldn't play on Tuesday."
City missed Tevez's industry as they failed to take advantage of a defensive calamity by Ryan Shawcross which presented Shaun Wright-Phillips with a simple tap-in.
Instead, they were undone by one of Rory Delap's famous long throws as Ricardo Fuller powered home with Shay Given rooted to his line.
"Shay couldn't have saved that," said Mancini. "The problem was that our starting positions were bad. Stoke ended up with two players free. That was the problem."
The draw means City must tackle Stoke three times in 11 days, with the replay confirmed for February 24 at the Britannia Stadium. Mancini is facing a real selection headache ahead of the second of those games though as, in addition to Tevez, Craig Bellamy is also out, while Martin Petrov, Stephen Ireland and Wright-Phillips picked up injuries during this encounter which make them doubtful as well.
"It is a problem but I hope some of the players recover because we need to prepare properly for a game that is very important if we are going to do well in the league," he said.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis also has his injury problems, with Matthew Etherington taken for a scan on a serious-looking knee injury.
"There was nothing in the actual tackle," shrugged Pulis. "His studs got stuck in the ground. The doctor said it might be one where the ligament has just gone over the bone and Matthew might be OK on Tuesday. Fingers crossed."
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