John Carew's comeback has been put on hold as Tony Pulis does not want to risk losing the striker for Stoke's entire run-in.
The powerful Norwegian, on loan at the Britannia Stadium from Aston Villa, has been sidelined with a back problem for the past few weeks.
He had been hopeful of returning to action in Saturday's Premier League match against Chelsea after stepping up his recovery during the international break.
However, that now seems unlikely after Potters manager Pulis revealed he would take great care in making sure Carew did not suffer a relapse.
Stoke face Tottenham after Chelsea and then have an FA Cup semi-final against Bolton to look forward to later in April, and Pulis wants Carew fully fit.
"John's coming along nicely, but Saturday is probably too soon for him," Pulis told the club's official website.
"We want to make sure that when he does come back, he stays fit.
"At the moment, it would probably be a risk to play him and that might set him back a few weeks again because he's suffering from back spasms.
"I think it's more realistic at this stage that he will be back for Tottenham and then we'll have him ready for the FA Cup semi-final the following week."
Pulis is more confident about Thomas Sorensen's availability for the clash with Carlo Ancelotti's Blues.
Sorensen played no part in Denmark's Euro 2012 qualifier against Norway on Saturday due to a sore back, but has reported no long-term effects since returning to Stoke.
"Tommy should be fine and I am sure he will be available at the weekend," said Pulis.