Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp is facing a huge injury crisis in his midfield.
Redknapp is already without Niko Kranjcar and Jerome Thomas for at least another few weeks and they have been joined on the sidelines by Sean Davis, Papa Bouba Diop and Lassana Diarra.
Davis and Diop are both sidelined for possibly up to a month with torn groin and hamstring muscles respectively - but there is major concern over Diarra who has a possible knee ligament injury.
"We've got a load of injuries. Diop has torn a hamstring, Davis has torn a
groin muscle and they are out for a few weeks at least," admitted Redknapp.
"Diarra has got a bad knock on his knee and it could be the ligament, so we are desperately short in midfield."
Redknapp is hopeful that he will soon have Croatian star Kranjcar back early next month.
"Niko is coming back shortly. He's another terrific player for us," he said.
"He'll be out for a few more weeks yet, but when he comes back he's another real talent. It will be nice to have the option of him in our side.
"He's coming on well."
Thomas is due to see a specialist this week about his ongoing back injury, whilst another midfielder, Richard Hughes, should be fit for their Carling Cup clash with Chelsea on Wednesday despite missing the weekend's defeat at Manchester City with a shin problem.
Redknapp is growing increasingly concerned about his squad given they also have to cope with the added commitment of the Uefa Cup this season.
"We've got another game (home to Tottenham) on Sunday, then the Uefa Cup return in Portugal on the Thursday (against Guimaraes). Then it's Sunday again," he said.
"I've only got 17 players who are anywhere near fit. So I will bring a load of fringe players in. Those who haven't been playing will play.
"But I don't think there is any question about character. We were one of the best away teams in the country last season. We had won three fantastic games and these things happen in football.
"It will happen to most teams like that at some point this season and you just have to carry on and get through it."