Carlos Tevez looks like missing out on his return trip to Old Trafford in Sunday's derby.
The little striker flies back today from Argentina determined to overcome a knee injury from international duty and pull on the Sky Blue shirt against his former club.
Assistant manager Mark Bowen said: "He is back here today and we'll assess it from there, but he is very doubtful. What we are hearing is that it's probably going to keep him out, but until the doctor assesses him hands-on we don't really know.
"The boss has been in contact with the Argentina medical team, as has our medical team. The signs are not encouraging. We wouldn't 100 per cent rule him out yet - fingers crossed and we are always hopeful, but it's very doubtful."
It does appear as though Craig Bellamy is going to be asked to lead the line on Sunday given the absences with the rest of the attacking corps.
Santa Cruz may well be back in full training, but no way is he risked for a start this early in his comeback from injury.