Manchester City coach David Platt admits David Silva and Mario Balotelli may not be ready to start the new Premier League season.
The duo only returned for pre-season training last week after helping Spain and Italy respectively to reach the final of Euro 2012.
Both players were not involved in City's 4-0 win over Limerick on Sunday when manager Roberto Mancini continued to experiment with a 3-5-2 formation.
Midfielder Silva and striker Balotelli are being given time to build up their fitness and appear unlikely to be rushed back into action by City.
"They are behind the other lads due to a short pre-season," said Platt.
"We don't know if they will be ready to start games."
City face Chelsea in the Community Shield at Villa Park on Sunday before opening the defence of their Premier League title at home to promoted Southampton on Sunday 19th August.