Stoke could welcome back Geoff Cameron for Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa but will be without a trio of key players.
The 30-year-old defender has not played for the Potters since the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final with Liverpool at the start of January having struggled to shake off the effects of a troublesome ankle injury.
The USA international has returned to first-team training recently though and boss Mark Hughes is hopeful he could provide him with a much-needed defensive boost.
“The thing with Geoff is that if we think he is good to go then we have no worries about his fitness, although he hasn’t trained a great deal with the group,” Hughes told Stoke City Player.
“He is a big guy, a fit guy and a real athlete and he won’t have a problem in coming straight back in if we think he is ready.
“At the moment we are lacking defenders because we have multiple injuries in the same position, and when that happens you are always going to be a little light on the ground.”
Stoke’s defensive options have been decimated by injuries recently, with the visit of Villa coming too soon for Ryan Shawcross, Glen Johnson and Marc Muniesa.
Marc Wilson is a long-term absentee with ligament damage, while Phil Bardsley is struggling to shake off a hip problem.
Midfielder Charlie Adam will miss out once again with a calf injury but could return next weekend.