Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott says he will consider using the emergency loan market to find cover for defender Frank Simek.
Simek has been absent since August with a hip and then calf problem, while Newcastle full-back James Tavernier is set to end his loan stint this weekend.
"If Frank is not fit I think we have to try to do something," Abbott told BBC Radio Cumbria.
"We were hoping Frank would have been fit by now."
The Cumbrians had brought in Tavernier as cover following Simek's initial injury, which saw him withdrawn from the opening day defeat by Notts County, and extended the deal before the US international reported a calf strain earlier this month.
Saturday's visit of Exeter to Brunton Park will mark the 20-year-old's 16th and final appearance in Carlisle colours since his initial August move.
"James is like we are at the minute, anything could happen, he can be unbelievable and he can have his indifferences, but he is a fantastic player on the eye," Abbott added.
"For example his pace and his drive - he wants to get forward - and he must have run up and down there today, I don't know, more times than any full-back I have ever known.
"There is a mistake in him but that is his age and he will hopefully learn from this spell and learn the dos and donts of football, and that is what he is here for."