Mario Balotelli returned to Manchester with manager Roberto Mancini spying the derby clash at Old Trafford later this month as a potential comeback match for the controversial Italian.
Mancini has been relieved to discover the knee injury Balotelli suffered scoring a hat-trick against Aston Villa on December 28 is not as bad as he initially feared and the youngster will not require an operation.
He will not be considered for their Premier League trip to Birmingham though, or the home encounter with West Brom at the weekend.
However, by the time City head across town to face United on February 12, Mancini does think Balotelli could be ready.
"I hope everything is okay with Mario," said Mancini. "I think he could be ready for the derby."