Stoke City travel to Sheffield Wednesday today for another Championship clash.
They will be without Steven Fletcher for the trip to his former ground Hillsborough while Jordan Thompson is also sidelined.
Fletcher, who has flourished under Potters boss Michael O’Neill since he departed Wednesday in the summer, has gelled with Nick Powell and Tyrese Campbell.
Stoke are the second highest scorers in the Championship thanks to Fletcher’s impact – but he will be absent from today’s trip to Sheffield after a collision with an advertising board in the defeat to Norwich City in midweek.
Thompson, meanwhile, damaged ankle ligaments on international duty with Northern Ireland earlier this month.
O’Neill updated fans on the status of the pair ahead of the Wednesday game with eyes on a midweek clash with Wycombe Wanderers.
“It’s too early to say to be honest (whether they will be back next week),” O’Neill said.
“Jordan’s ankle has improved considerably.
“Fletch is a difficult one. There is no significant damage to his knee but it was a sore injury where he slid off and hit the electronic boards. He’s very stiff and very sore.
“We’ve got to see how that progresses in the next 48 hours.
“It was always going to be difficult after the game on Tuesday to turn him around in time for Saturday and we have to be mindful of the longer term view with the type of injury it is.”
Joe Allen and Ryan Shawcross continue their path to fitness, with Shawcross getting through 90 minutes for the under-23s on Monday.
Keepers Adam Davies and Angus Gunn are still weeks away from returning.
But James McClean is back in training after self isolation following a positive Covid test while on Republic of Iteland duty.
O’Neill said: “He’s available. He only trained for the first time on Thursday after, first of all, being away on international duty and then a period of self isolation.
“We’ll see how he reacts to training (on Friday afternoon) and then see whether he’s available to start or possibly be involved from the bench.”