Sao Paulo have flown out of the starting blocks in the Campeonato Brasileiro title race. Having beaten Fluminense, Figueirense, Atletico-MG and Gremio to boast a 100 per cent record after the first four rounds for the first time in the competition, they sit two points clear of Corinthians and four above third-placed Palmeiras.
However, despite Paulo Cesar Carpegiani being optimistic over having defenders Miranda and Rhodolfo and forward Fernandinho back at his disposal for the trip to lowly Ceara on Sunday, the Sao Paulo coach has now conceded he will once again be without the trio.
"It will be difficult to count on them, they haven't trained," rued the 62-year-old. "Next week they will be in our plans."
Sao Paulo will also be without striker Luis Fabiano, who, following surgery, is not expect to return to training until next month. They will, however, be able to utilise midfielder Ilsinho. The former Shakhtar Donetsk man limped out of a training match on Wednesday, but has confirmed he will be ready to face Ceara.
Exciting playmaker Lucas, 18, will make his final appearance for Sao Paulo before joining up with the Copa America-bound Brazil squad at the weekend.