Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson has ruled out Micah Richards for Monday's match against Sunderland.

Richards is almost certainly an absentee because of a bruised knee. However the England defender is likely to return the following Sunday at Portsmouth as the injury is not serious.

That would put him on course to feature in the vital Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia.

Eriksson said: "Richards will probably not play on Monday but hopefully the match afterwards.

"It is not a ligament problem and that is very good news of course.

"It is a relief for him, for us and for England."