Alan Irvine is hoping Preston North End defender Billy Jones can put a hernia operation on hold until the New Year.
Jones lasted just 20 minutes of the Boxing Day defeat to Scunthorpe United and requires surgery on the injury.
But, with Preston short on defensive options, Irvine is looking to postpone the full-back's operation until the transfer window opens.
"Billy has got a hernia," the North End boss told the club's official website. "He had it before the Southampton game, but played through the 90 minutes and did very well. He deserves an awful lot of credit for that.
"He'll be undergoing surgery in the New Year and hopefully we'll be able to get him some treatment between now and the weekend so that he can be fit to play against Cardiff.
"We're obviously badly stretched as far as defenders are concerned and so we have to try and nurse Billy through this particular period.
"He deserves a lot of plaudits for playing through the Southampton game and making himself available for Scunthorpe as well. We're confident he'll be available for the Cardiff game."