Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insists Robinho will be selected if he remains with the club as discussions over his future continue.
Robinho, the club's record buy, is currently locked in talks with Santos and Sao Paulo over possible loan moves to his homeland.
The Brazil international was not used by Mancini in the Carling Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United on Wedensday.
But Mancini insists the playmaker would still be in his plans for the remainder of the season if the move to Brazil failed to materialise.
"Robinho spoke with me," said the Italian.
"It is possible that he will go to play for Santos or another team, so we preferred not to risk him.
"But that is the only reason he was not involved. If he is still here at the end of the transfer window, he can play for us."
Meanwhile, Mancini is happy his squad is getting back to full strength for the remainder of the season.
"Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor are back with us now and Joleon Lescott is nearly fit," he said.
"With those players I think it is possible for us to get into the top four.
"But it is important that we improve because of this game and at least we still have the FA Cup to play for."