Stoke manager Tony Pulis fears left-back Danny Higginbotham may miss the remainder of the season because of a back injury.
Higginbotham is definitely out of Saturday's Barclays Premier League match against Fulham at Craven Cottage after suffering the setback in the victory over Blackburn last weekend.
Pulis said: "Danny has hurt one of the discs in his back and could need an operation. We might have seen the last of him this season."
Striker James Beattie is also sidelined with a thigh injury while right-back Andy Wilkinson remains doubtful because of a back problem.
Pulis added: "As for Beattie, he will not be fit for Fulham while there is a question mark over Wilkinson."
With striker Mamady Sidibe absent with a knee problem - and Amdy Faye and Salif Diao also injured - Pulis is short of options, especially up front.
"Beattie and Ricardo Fuller have looked a threat together, so it is a case of finding the right balance with Sidibe unavailable, " said the Stoke boss.
"Everyone wants to play in the team and it is a blow for us. The last thing you want at this time of year is injuries."
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