Marcelo Bielsa has hinted Humberto Suazo could be set for a bench role against Spain on Friday.
Chile's leading striker got his first taste of the World Cup as he featured for 45 minutes of the South Americans' 1-0 win over Switzerland on Monday.
Suazo has played just 90 minutes of football in three months after shoulder and hamstring injuries and a thigh problem meant the Monterrey player was a serious doubt for the Group H opener against Honduras.
The 29-year-old marksman looked out of sorts against the Swiss and has been absent from Bielsa's starting XI in training sessions this week.
But the Chile coach would not reveal whether the top scorer in the South American qualifying section would make the first team when they take on the Spaniards.
"The difficulties that he has are related to the fact that for some time he has not played in official matches," said Bielsa.
"This is something that can be resolved by playing and also by training, but fundamentally by playing proper matches. So it's a difficult situation to resolve. We can't change a training session for an official match."
Bielsa said he would stick to his usual three-pronged attack with two wingers and a striker but refused to reveal whether Suazo would get the nod in Pretoria.
"It could be Suazo, it could be Paredes, it could be Valdivia, who all interpret that role in different ways," added the 54-year-old.
Jorge Valdivia played as a striker in Chile's opening victory against Honduras but, with playmaker Matias Fernandez suspended, he is likely to drop back to play behind the forwards against Spain.
That leaves Esteban Paredes as the most likely replacement for Suazo, who scored 10 of Chile's 32 goals in the qualifying campaign
Chile need only a draw against Spain, who must win to be sure of reaching the knockout stages of the competition.