Crewe Alexandra will not gamble with Nicky Maynard's fitness as the striker prepares to return from a three-month lay-off.
Maynard has been out since breaking his leg and suffering ankle ligament damage against Brighton on the opening day of the season.
Reports suggested he could make his comeback against Northampton Town on Saturday, but first-team coach Steve Holland is adopting a cautious approach.
"Nicky trained last week and looked fine, and I think that raised the optimism a bit," Holland told the club's official website.
"I thought the possibility of him making a return against Northampton was a bit ambitious and we won't be taking any risks with him.
"Nicky hasn't had a setback, but he just doesn't feel 100% confident with it. He feels a bit sluggish with his overall fitness and that is completely understandable because he has been out for a long time. We have to be very careful with him.
"When a player is out for a long time, they more often than not pick up a secondary injury because those muscles that haven't been worked for a while give somewhere in the body."