Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has revealed that Steve Sidwell has postponed an Achilles operation ahead of Sunday's Second City derby.
Sidwell is set to play alongside Nigel Reo-Coker in the Villa midfield when the side lock horns with Birmingham City this weekend.
Houllier is short on numbers in the middle of the park with skipper Stiliyan Petrov out for up to three months with knee ligament damage and Fabian Delph still recovering from a similar setback.
"Steve's operation has been delayed because he and Nigel will be playing on a regular basis," said Houllier.
"He could have said 'okay, I'm having my operation and we will see after that'.
"He hasn't complained. Usually when you play, sometimes injuries disappear. I would say that is one of them.
"I know the strength of my squad. I would have preferred some of the players who are injured or suspended to be available - but we can cope."