The Blues' record signing has missed the last six games due to a stress fracture of an ankle and is expected to be fit in time for the Carling Cup fourth-round tie at home to Scunthorpe on 28th October.
But Craig Bellamy has been in blistering form in Robinho's absence, scoring four goals in the last four Premier League games, so City's Brazilian star is by no means guaranteed an immediate recall.
The 25-year-old has been linked with a loan move to Barcelona in January, with a view to a permanent return to Spain next summer.
And although City's assistant boss Mark Bowen insists that Robinho remains a key part of their plans, he must earn his place back in the team.
"Robi is one of those players who will always be surrounded by rumour and speculation, and he is no different from any other player in the squad in that he will be fighting for a place when he regains his fitness," Bowen said.
"Anybody who watches top-level football knows that is always the case now. We are no different.
Patience"Things can change so quickly though - a week is a long time in this game. An injury or two and you're back in the side and then it's up to you to make sure that you stay there.
"People might be asking how Robi's going to get back in, given Craig's form - but things change.
"He is a naturally fit guy who doesn't carry a lot of weight, so once he's back training with the group it doesn't take him much time to be right."
Big-spending City have made a superb start to the new season and lie fourth after winning five of their opening seven league games.
Robinho started the first two league games of the season but has not featured since the Carling Cup second-round win at Crystal Palace on 27th August.