Steve Cotterill has admitted he doesn't know whether Michael Brown will play for Pompey again.
The influential midfielder played in yesterday's 1-1 draw with Millwall.
It means one more appearance will now trigger a contract extension at Premier League wages the Blues can ill afford.
As it stands, Brown will not feature at Leeds tomorrow or for the remainder of the season unless a compromise can be thrashed out.
The 33-year-old is scheduled for talks with Cotterill ahead of that match with a view to solving the situation.
Similarly, Richard Hughes can also make just one more appearance before he falls into the same category.
Meanwhile, rookie Tom Kilbey cannot be named in a Pompey squad as former club Millwall will then be entitled to 50,000.
For Cotterill, his paper-thin squad continues to be dogged by problems.
He said: 'Michael can't play for us again at this moment in time. That is how it stands.
'But I need to have a chat with him to find out where we are.
'I don't want to lie to you. If all of a sudden he says he wants to waive that clause so he can play then things change.
'I'm not trying to be clever – if he turns up on the team sheet at Leeds, that is a genuine one.
'It's a big livelihood decision. I cannot make him do anything like that. He has got to want to do it, really.
'That's not me lobbing it back at him, either.
'I've never faulted his attitude – he is as good as gold.
'All of them are. I don't have an issue with any of them.
'Until we can either resolve it one way or the other I'm in the dark.'
Meanwhile, it has been revealed promising midfielder Kilbey is also hamstrung by contract clauses.
The 20-year-old was signed by the Blues in October 2007 from Millwall.
As part of the agreement, Pompey must hand over 50,000 should he make a first-team appearance.
That figure also includes appearances on the bench.
Kilbey is back in action again after damaging his knee in July against Edmonton during the pre-season tour.
But he cannot be considered for first-team involvement as long as that clause is in place.
Cotterill added: 'We have got one kid (Kilbey), who is training with us.
'The other kids that were here and in the 10-man squad we had to get rid of because they would have never played in this team.
'If we stick Kilbey on the bench all of a sudden we have to give Millwall 50,000.
'That is the only other kid we have got.
'The other kids aren't good enough.
'We are not going to make false promises to kids when they are not good enough.'