West Ham’s visit to the Etihad is City’s final game before their winter break, with Guardiola’s side returning to action away to top-four rivals Leicester on February 22.
There are fears Sterling could be ruled out for up to four weeks, which means he would miss both the Foxes game and the first leg of City’s Champions League last-16 tie away to Real Madrid four days later.
And City boss Guardiola admitted he is unsure as yet how long the 25-year-old forward will be sidelined.
“It’s a problem, but it’s a problem we had with Ilkay Gundogan – out for six months in the first year – and Aymeric Laporte this season, for four or five months,” said Guardiola in quotes reported by the Daily Mail.
“It’s always a problem, but it is what it is. During the season this kind of thing happens unfortunately. We will see. Of course it takes weeks but we’ll see before Leicester and Madrid.”
City tweeted: “Raheem Sterling will miss our game against West Ham this weekend after scans revealed he has suffered damage to his left hamstring. Everyone at City wishes @sterling7 a full and speedy recovery.”
Sterling has 20 goals so far this season – behind only Sergio Aguero in City’s scoring stakes – but has not netted in his last eight games.
Missed chances have cost City recently – especially in their defeat to Tottenham last weekend.
Asked if he could pinpoint the reasons for his side’s profligacy, Guardiola said: “I don’t know — I would like to find the explanation.”