Manchester City breathed a sigh of relief after striker Sergio Aguero was only ruled out for a month with a knee injury he suffered during their 3-2 win over Premier League new boys Southampton on Sunday.
City boss Roberto Mancini had feared Aguero could be missing for far longer after twisting his right knee early on during their match against the Saints at Etihad Stadium, The Daily Star reports.
Even though a full diagnosis cannot be made until the inflammation has gone down completely, an initial examination has given Mancini hope that he will have the striker back playing by the start of the Champions League group stage in mid-September.
In the meantime, he will definitely miss Sunday's Premier League trip to Liverpool along with games against QPR and Stoke.
Kompany certain Tevez would take Man City's goal-scoring mantle from injured Aguero
Meanwhile, Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has no doubts that in form striker Carlos Tevez would take over the goal scoring burden from Aguero, who has been sidelined with a knee injury.
Sources close to Aguero claim he expects to be back in action after the international break next month, but City want to wait until the swelling goes down and put his knee through another scan before they put a timescale on his return.
City manager Roberto Mancini admitted he feared the worst when his 35 million pound record signing went down under a challenge from Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne.
However, Kompany believes blistering early season form shown by Tevez means the loss of last season's top scorer will not be too keenly felt.
Former captain Tevez was absent for most of last season, and Kompany believes that proved City could get by with just three strikers.
"I hope Sergio won't be out for too long but I would point to last season where we had to cope with these kind of issues and we did it very well," The Sun quoted Kompany, as saying.
"If we have to, I'm sure we will again. Having Carlos at his best is obviously a big bonus for us because he is one of the best strikers in the world," he added.
"People talk about new signings, but to have Carlos playing the way he is means we are better than we were last season. So we have strengthened in that respect," he said.
Aguero scored 30 goals in a brilliant first season in England, including the last-gasp winner, which clinched the title in May.
Photo: Sergio Aguero grimaces in pain after sustaining an injury during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on Sunday (Michael Regan/Getty Images)