Vincent Kompany could return for Manchester City against Stoke on Saturday - but Joleon Lescott is set to miss out once again.
City cut Manchester United's lead at the top of the Premier League to one point with a 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday with Kolo Toure and Micah Richards producing steady displays in the centre of the defence.
The duo will hope to retain their places for the trip to the Britannia Stadium but the expected return of Kompany after he suffered a hamstring injury in the Europa League clash at Sporting on 8th March provides a timely boost.
Lescott, however, is still set to miss out with a groin problem so the former Everton man will not reconvene his partnership with Kompany at the weekend.
"Joleon I don't think but for Vinnie maybe he has some chance," said Mancini when asked for an update on the fitness of the duo ahead of the Stoke game.
Mancini has admitted City's injury worries at the back have hindered their form but he thinks things are on the up following the victory against Chelsea.
"I don't think that we played well in the last three or four weeks," he added.
"I think at times we have played fantastic football but in the last month maybe it has been so-so.
"I think that after tonight maybe something can change."