Sunderland boss Roy Keane may use the emergency loan rule to bolster his depleted ranks after Carlos Edwards was ruled out until the “tail-end” of the season.
Football League clubs can sign players on loan outside of the transfer windows before March 22.
And although he had not planned to bolster his squad further, the Black Cats manager admitted Edwards’ shoulder injury has forced his hand.
“It’s in the back of my mind,” Keane told the club’s website, safc.com. “Things change daily.
“We are looking at the loan rule. A week or two ago I was quite happy with the balance of the squad but now we’ve picked up an injury, that changes it.”
Keane’s side travel to Barnsley tomorrow afternoon looking to continue the recent form which has seen them thrust themselves into contention for automatic promotion.
Edwards’ Trinidad and Tobago team-mate Dwight Yorke, who scored in last week’s win at West Brom, is hopeful of shaking off a hamstring strain in time to face the Tykes.
Daniel Nardiello will return to Barnsley’s squad having completed a three-match ban.
However, manager Simon Davey is unlikely to split up his current strike pairing of Hungarian duo Peter Rajczi and Istvan Ferenczi, who have scored six goals between them in the last four matches.
Cardiff look to bounce back from defeat by Birmingham last week when they host Norwich.
The Bluebirds will be able to call on skipper Darren Purse for the first time in seven Championship games. The former Birmingham and West Brom central defender has been sidelined by a back strain he picked up in the 2-1 win at Wolves in January.
Chris Brown may make his return from injury to feature for Norwich. The striker has been out for two weeks due to hamstring trouble but trained on Thursday and is back in contention for a start.
Dickson Etuhu is also a doubt, due to the leg injury that forced his early exit from that match, along with Adam Drury, who missed out through illness after recovering from back trouble to face Barnsley last weekend.
Simon Lappin is also a doubt, complaining of soreness.
Preston look to gain ground on the automatic promotion places with they travel east to Hull.
Winger Franck Songo’o will be in the Preston squad after arriving on loan and Matt Hill is available after a ban. Kelvin Wilson (calf), Pavel Pergl (calf) and Danny Dichio (foot) are doubts but Adam Nowland may figure after recovering from a broken leg and forward Brett Ormerod (fractured cheekbone) may wear a face mask if he features. Simon Whaley (foot) is out for several weeks.
Nick Barmby could return after ankle ligament damage but Hull will definitely be without suspended striker Michael Bridges.
Southampton, on the brink of the play-off zone, travel to Stoke while Colchester host Coventry, Crystal Palace play Leicester, Sheffield Wednesday go to QPR, Ipswich meet Southend and, down at the bottom, Leeds play Luton.