Burton Albion defender Tony James looks set to miss the Christmas programme with a hamstring injury.
The 34-year-old, who usually deputises for regular central defenders Darren Moore and Nathan Stanton, suffered the injury in training last week.
"Tony tweaked his hamstring last Friday, which is why he wasn't on the bench against Southend," said Albion boss Paul Peschisolido.
"Fortunately, Ryan Austin was fit enough to come back and he gives us the cover we need.
"The timing of his return is perfect from my point of view because Tony could be out for two weeks, possibly a bit longer."