Steve Bruce is planning for the remainder of the season without key midfielders David Dunn and Muzzy Izzet.
Blues are locked in a relegation dogfight and it will be all hands to the pump for the final ten games of the season.
However, they are likely to have to do without two of their most potent forces, as Dunn (pictured) has suffered a recurrence of his long-standing hamstring problem, while Izzet has had a setback with the calf injury.
Bruce would love to be able to call on the services of his midfield stars, but is resigned to the pair being confined to the treatment room for the remainder of the season.
"It's so frustrating and difficult," said Bruce. "Dunny and Muzzy were out for long periods after back surgery and knee surgery respectively.
"It's other problems like the hamstring and calf which keep reoccurring now and both players have found it difficult to stay fit after so long out of action.
"I am convinced that we would stay up if players like those two were available, but we have got to be realistic now in terms of whether they will play again this season.
"I have got the statistics about them both in my head and I am thinking: 'Will they get fit before May?' We hope so, but we have to be realistic.
"In my head, I am just dismissing them because it doesn't look as if they are going to get back, and I mean Dunny and Muzzy in particular."