Southampton have confirmed Graeme Murty is out until the end of January, but goalkeeper Kelvin Davis is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a groin injury.
Murty ruptured ankle ligaments in training earlier this month and Saints expect the veteran full-back to endure another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The 35-year-old had only recently returned to the Southampton side after missing three months of the season due to a knee ligament injury.
Meanwhile, keeper Davis is back in manager Alan Pardew's plans after making positive progress in his rehabilitation from a groin problem.
Davis was hurt during last month's 3-1 win at Hartlepool United and was initially not expected to play again until the New Year.
However, he was on the bench for Saturday's 1-0 defeat at League One leaders Leeds United, although he is still not ready to do a lot of kicking.
Morgan Schneiderlin missed the game against Leeds due to a tight hamstring, but he is expected to be fit for the Boxing Day encounter with Exeter City.