Crystal Palace will look to bring in a left-back in the new year if Pape Souare is not ready to return to action.
Souare, 26, broke his thighbone in a car crash in September and is currently expected to return in January, when the transfer window reopens.
Eagles boss Alan Pardew admits his side have missed the Senegal international and are likely to look at other options if his recovery takes longer than anticipated.
Pardew said: “We lost Pape Souare. It’s been a blow to us. Left-back is probably an area that we haven’t got covered as we would have liked.
“It wasn’t an injury sustained on the football pitch, which makes it even more of a blow.
“That is an area we might need to look at in the window if Pape doesn’t come back to us.
“We need to get a little bit more action down our left side just to balance us up a little bit more.
“But that’s my only concern in the group. Everywhere else I think we’ve got good cover and I think we’re a strong team.”
Souare, who has been ruled out of January’s Africa Cup of Nations, has made 55 appearances for Palace since being signed from Reims in January 2015.
Speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference ahead of today’s game against Burnley, Pardew added: “He was in yesterday and was smiling and happy, so that’s a good sign, but he’s still some way away from being fit.
“I think it is going to be around the window that he comes back to us, possibly even later.”