Danny East is facing a further spell on the sidelines after a setback in his recovery from injury.
The former Hull right-back picked up an ankle injury in the draw with Northampton at the end of December and has not featured since.
But after making good progress in his rehabilitation, the 22-year-old defender has suffered pain in the joint after stepping up his efforts to return to action.
And Blues boss Richie Barker knows he will not have East’s services again for this weekend’s trip to Exeter.
‘Worryingly, Danny East has had a bit of a backward turn,’ said Barker.
‘I don’t know the ins and outs of it but he got to a certain part of the rehabilitation – the kicking part – and it caused some real tenderness in the ligament.
‘We had him pencilled in to play half of a development game last week and he hasn’t even trained yet, so he’s probably a couple of weeks behind where we thought he was.
‘The initial diagnosis probably wasn’t what we thought it was.
‘It’s no worse and it’s not a major issue but we were looking at days, initially, then weeks, but he’s been out for a month.’
Barker also feels the longer East is out of training, the harder it will be for him to return as he loses fitness.
The Blues boss said: ‘He hasn’t started any kind of training yet but the longer it goes on, the harder it is to come back in terms of physical fitness.
‘He will be another couple of weeks yet.’
Meanwhile, Barker revealed that Yassin Moutaouakil has also been nursing an ankle problem.
The French defender has been pushed further down the pecking order by the recent arrival of Daniel Alfei, but it seems Barker would be prepared to let Moutaouakil leave.
He said: ‘Yass has been in France having treatment for an ankle injury.
‘He is aware that he has got to fight with somebody else for the right-back position now.
‘He probably assumed, when Danny East was injured, he would play but now Dan Alfei has come in. If he needs to go and find first-team football, then fine.’
– STEVE WILSON