ROTHERHAM United could be forced into a signing against their will because of the heel injury suffered by Billy Jones.
The Millers have no idea when the right-back will be fit to return, leaving manager Paul Warne with a decision to make before the transfer window closes a week on Monday.
An achilles problem picked up by the club's other right-back, Matt Olosunde, is adding to the boss's headache.
"We're endeavouring to get some sort of back-up in," Warne said. "I don't want to, but I might have to sign an extra defender because Billy is out and Matt is out at the moment.
"I don't want to sign a right-back because Billy could be back in a fortnight and Matt should be fit shortly. I could do with someone who can play more than one position.
"The other thing I could do is sign another centre-half then, if the worst came to the worst, I could stick (central defender) Michael Ihiekwe at right-back. I'm trying to bring in a utility man."
Jones has been suffering with plantar fasciitis - inflammation of fibrous tissue - under his foot since pre-season.
"It's a notoriously difficult injury to deal with," said Warne whose League One side are without a match this weekend following the postponement of their trip to Portsmouth.
"He had an injection which we hoped would settle things down. That hasn't worked. He can't have another injection for six months.
"It's a concern for me because I just don't know when he's going to be available again.
"When someone sprains their ankle or something there's a definite timeline to the recovery but with Billy's sort of injury you just don't know.
"I could have him available for Doncaster Rovers away in a fortnight or I could have him available in January. I don't honestly know."
Jones, aged 32, has shown his quality in a Rotherham shirt but has had a chequered injury record since arriving at AESSEAL New York Stadium from Sunderland in the summer of 2018.
"We're investigating other ways of trying to help him," Warne said. "He did some running the other day, felt great, then on the last stride he felt pain again."