Sven-Goran Eriksson has warned his Manchester City side that they cannot always rely on Elano for inspiration.
The Brazilian has been the source of much of City's creative and incisive play following his £8million summer move from Shakhtar Donetsk, but is currently sidelined with a hamstring problem.
And with Eriksson's men, whose form on their travels is in stark contrast to their 100 per cent home record, facing a tough trip to Spurs on Sunday, Elano is again a doubt.
But the return to training of Michael Johnson following his groin operation gives the club further options in midfield, and he is expected to start at White Hart Lane in the absence of the suspended Didi Hamann.
Eriksson told the Manchester Evening News: "Darius Vassell, Emile Mpenza, and Michael Johnson all trained but we must wait another couple of days to see if Elano will make it or not.
"He has not trained with us this week and has a problem with his hamstring. I expect he will have another scan tomorrow or Friday and we will see how we go from there.
"If you look at all the goals this season then you must say that Elano is important to us. Between him and Petrov they have probably been involved in 80-85 per cent of the goals we have scored.
"But we have a lot of other good players and we cannot afford to stand or fall by whether Elano is there."
Former England boss Eriksson has held talks with his players over their problems on the road and is hoping for a change in fortune against Spurs.
He added: "There is something missing and we do not attack as much as we should do away from home. We have talked about it with the players and we all feel we should do better.
"We had one shot on goal in 90 minutes at Wigan and that is not good enough if we want to stay where we are in the table among the leading sides.
"Hopefully, there will be a response at White Hart Lane. It has nothing to do with the tactics because we are playing the same way away as we do at home and we have done well, very well, at home. I think it is inside the players' heads.
"We have to try to forget somehow that we are playing away and if we score on our travels we must not go back into our shells like we did at Wigan but instead look for a second one.
"We have Vassell and Mpenza back in training so now I have four strikers from which to choose on Sunday which is a good thing and Michael Johnson is back in training and I have no fears about him coming straight back without a warm-up match after his groin operation."