Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has confirmed that striker Roque Santa Cruz is unlikely to be back in action before the end of August.
The 27-year-old Paraguay international is currently recovering from knee surgery and has been unable to play a major part in the club's pre-season preparations.
Hughes told the club's official website: "We knew Roque would have a period of rehabilitation when we signed him, but we have good options up front.
"If we can, we want to give him the time he really needs, rather than getting him back early and having him at 70 per cent.
"Rather than bring him back too soon I would rather give him the time that he needs.
"We are hoping by the end of the month that he will be available."