Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has revealed his side could face Chelsea on Saturday with just one available central defender.
Ryan Shawcross (back) and Geoff Cameron (hamstring) are still injured, while Kurt Zouma is ineligible to play against his parent club.
Hughes also confirmed Kevin Wimmer is struggling for fitness after sustaining a hamstring injury during the 2-0 EFL Cup defeat to Bristol City on Tuesday.
That leaves Bruno Martins Indi as the only first-team centre-back for the visit of the defending Premier League champions to the bet365 Stadium.
"We're struggling a little bit defensively," he said.
"Of my senior centre-halves I've probably got one. We're keeping our fingers crossed Kevin will be okay. He's got damage to his hamstring and we're hoping it won't stop him playing, but clearly at the moment he's a big risk.
"Obviously if you have three or four injuries in the same position you haven't got depth. That's where we find ourselves and it's coincided with the fact we can't play Kurt. We're a little bit stretched, to say the least."
Hughes will be relieved his makeshift defence does not have to contend with Diego Costa, who arrived in Spain on Friday to complete his impending move to Atletico Madrid.
The Stoke boss lamented Costa's departure as "a real shame" and admits he will miss the striker's combative presence in the Premier League.
"I don't know the whole circumstances, but from a football fans' point of view I think he's a loss to the Premier League," said Hughes.
"I used to really enjoy watching him go about his business because he was different - he had an edge, and the reaction of other players to him was interesting.
"Whatever happened and why, maybe both sides should have got together and got a real positive out of it. As it is he's left Chelsea and the Premier League and that's a real shame."
|Messi makes Girona 36th LaLiga victims to set new record|
|Nigeria demolish Rwanda in FIBA qualifying|
|Jonker shines but India still seal T20 series|
|Deeney ´not bothered´ after ending drought from open play|
|Tigers back to business after Hardaker departure|
|Championship Review: Fulham beat Wolves, Sunderland hold Boro in ill-tempered thriller|
|Lions bounce back to win, Schoeman leaves it late for Bulls|
|Russell eyes Six Nations title after inspiring Scotland to win over England|
|Watford 1 Everton 0: Stunning Deeney finish moves hosts six clear of trouble|
|Benitez rues missed chances as Newcastle lose two-goal lead|
|Heynckes ´can live´ with home Bayern draw|
|Ronaldo is a team player - Zidane hails Real Madrid star´s Benzema gesture|
|West Ham fans reference Hitler in protest at club´s owners|
|Dyche dismayed by decisions before Gabbiadini goal|
|Russell´s redemption comes as Scotland seal rare England win|
|Wagner impressed with Huddersfield´s commitment after vital win|
|No place like home for Schmidt as Ireland leave it late to sink Wales|
|Liverpool win had everything – Klopp enthuses over West Ham´s Anfield rout|
|Khachanov sets up Pouille final after Berdych upset|
|Dunk equals record for own goals in a single Premier League season|
|Chiefs return to winning ways in thriller|
|Real Madrid 4 Alaves 0: Ronaldo at the double as ´BBC´ delight|
|Burnley 1 Southampton 1: Gabbiadini grabs late leveller|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 4 Swansea City 1: Two-goal Murray helps end Swans´ unbeaten run|
|Bournemouth 2 Newcastle United 2: Hosts in thrilling fightback after Gayle double|
|West Brom 1 Huddersfield Town 2: Van La Parra and Mounie seal vital win|
|Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Salah nets again as Reds climb to second|
|Svitolina retains Dubai crown as Kasatkina runs out of steam|
|Ill Neymar included in PSG squad for Le Classique|
|Bayern Munich 0 Hertha Berlin 0: Lewandowski´s run ends as leaders are held at home|
|Ireland see off Wales in Dublin thriller to stay perfect|
|Gattuso surprised by AC Milan´s growth since taking over|
|Lambert defends ´best goalkeeper in Britain´ Butland after own goal error|
|Stokes expected to face Black Caps|
|Mkhitaryan, Ozil potential excites Mertesacker|
|A-League Review: Perth Glory in dramatic win, Melbourne Victory end losing streak|
|Leicester City 1 Stoke City 1: Butland howler costs Potters|
|Matic insists Man Utd can still do ´big things´|
|Fisher´s birdie streak secures share of Qatar Masters lead|
|Chinese Super League transfer window makes Simeone ´uncomfortable´|
|Ingolstadt score bizarre tap-in after Duisburg goalkeeper goes AWOL|
|Allegri cautious over Dybala fitness despite Higuain injury|
|Napoli´s Zielinski better than De Bruyne, claims Boniek|
|Seven-try Crusaders beat Chiefs, Waratahs and Brumbies win|
|Mourinho predicts ´amazing´ period for Manchester United|
|Mears expects ´good England win´ at Murrayfield|
|Barcelona midfielder Rafinha hoping to seal permanent Inter move|
|EFL Cup final: Where do Aguero and Aubameyang rank among Europe´s elite?|
|Klaasen and Mulder get Proteas Test call to face Australia|
|Settled Salah demands Champions League qualification for Liverpool|
|England not polished article - Shaw|
|Dembele staying focused after ´genius´ praise from Pochettino|
|Spain survive scare, USA cruise in World Cup qualifying|
|Shapovalov moves into Delray Beach Open semis|
|Davis, Jokic star with huge performances|
|Alli doesn´t dive, says Hodgson|
|Timberwolves star Butler suffers knee injury|
|Penguins acquire Brassard in three-team trade|
|Verdasco ends Thiem´s Rio Open title defence, Monfils exits|
|Salah has world´s best left foot? Don´t forget Messi – Klopp|
|Pochettino: Vertonghen one of Europe´s best defenders|
|He hasn´t raised the bar – Wenger plays down Guardiola success|
|Woods stays solid as List, Lovemark lead|
|Cake and victory for birthday boy Pouille|
|Klopp ´really proud´ of Firmino after Holgate case dropped|
|Munster upset Warriors as Leinster crush Southern Kings|
|Bouchard ´vindicated´ after USTA settlement|
|Warriors fall to impressive Wolves, Saints stay perfect|
|Conte: Chelsea´s winning mentality can´t be questioned|
|Benching Willian was a fantastic decision, boasts Chelsea boss Conte|