Adebayor has been on leave in Togo following the machine-gun attack on the national team coach before the African Nations Cup that left three people dead. The former Arsenal striker will not be involved in the FA Cup fourth-round match against Scunthorpe but could return in the Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester United on Wednesday.
City hold a 2-1 advantage and Mancini said: "We think he will be back on Sunday. It will be difficult for him to be ready for United but if he is okay after he gets back and he trains well, it's possible he will be on the bench."
Mancini intends to freshen up his side at Scunthorpe with United and the prospect of a Wembley appearance in mind.
He is planning to give striker Carlos Tevez a rest as well as either Nigel de Jong or Gareth Barry in midfield, with Stephen Ireland poised to return.
"I have three or four players who are very tired," said the Italian.
"Gareth and Nigel have played a lot recently, so we'll recall Stephen but probably not for the whole game."
Meanwhile, Mancini says Joleon Lescott could return against Hull on February 6 following a knee operation.
The former Everton defender has yet to play under the Italian, who added: "Lescott is a good player with a lot of experience.
"He is an important member of the squad and it is possible he could play against Hull."