Fulham manager Chris Coleman could recall French centre-back Philippe Christanval for the visit of Arsenal on Wednesday night after Franck Queudrue was ruled out for up to a month with a badly-gashed ankle.
Christanval, the former AS Monaco, Barcelona and Marseille defender, had a trial with Arsenal at the start of last season but joined the Cottagers instead.
The 27-year-old, injured for much of last season, was first choice at the start of the current campaign but played his first 90 minutes since damaging his knee in September for the reserves last week.
Fulham will also be without Ian Pearce for the Barclays Premiership clash, as he is serving a suspension after being sent off in the 1-0 defeat by Reading at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
He was red-carded by referee Dermot Gallagher when he gave away the decisive penalty by tripping Royals striker Kevin Doyle, who scored from the spot in the 17th minute.
And although Queudrue switched from left-back to replace Pearce, he did not emerge for the second half due to his injury.
Coleman said: “It is a bad one for Franck. We were disappointed with the challenge even though I don’t think the guy meant to do it, but he got it wrong.”
Queudrue was rushed to hospital for treatment and stitches and Coleman added: “We are looking at three weeks to a month out for Franck because the gash in his ankle is so nasty.
“We’ve got nobody else who can play centre-half and it looked at one time as though we might have to play big Dave Beasant (the club’s goalkeeping coach and former Wimbledon, Chelsea and Newcastle goalkeeper) at centre-half on Wednesday.”
That may be unlikely as Beasant – most remembered for his penalty save for Wimbledon in the shock 1988 FA Cup Final win against Liverpool – is 10 years older than Coleman.
Christanval played the first three games of the season alongside Pearce and looks the only realistic replacement, provided he suffers no reaction to his reserve team run-out.
Fulham are facing their third defeat in a row against the inconsistent Gunners but Coleman denies there is a lack of spirit in the camp after right-back Liam Rosenior, 20, had a blazing row during the Reading game with skipper Luis Boa Morte.
Coleman added: “Liam has his own opinion even though he is only 20, and he and Luis were having a right ding-dong in the dressing room at half-time as well.
“But that was music to my ears because I like the verbals. I encourage people to give their opinion and the team spirit here is good, it’s fantastic.”