KENNY Clark could return to the Chelmsford City starting line-up for Saturday's home clash against Bromley.
The centre-half has missed the start of the campaign with an ankle injury and last term's player of the year has certainly been missed as the Clarets registered a draw and a defeat from their opening two fixtures.
"I'm crossing my fingers that he'll pull through," said manager Glenn Pennyfather.
"He's key player for us and with Adam Tann out too it's been difficult."
Max Cornhill and David Bridges could also return after knocks but Cliff Akurang has left to join Bishop's Stortford and Greg Morgan has rejoined Boreham Wood.
Pennyfather said: "At the start of the season it feels like the heart's been ripped out of our team but that's not an excuse, we just have to get on with it.
"I'm looking for one more forward but it's not easy at the moment, a lot of players have just joined clubs and nobody's throwing toys out of the pram yet."
After an encouraging opening day 1-1 draw at Havant & Waterlooville, Jamie Slabber scored City's goal, Chelmsford were beaten 3-2 on Monday night by Welling United. Although he admits defeat was, on the balance of play, the right result Pennyfather feels his side need to improve defensively.
"We've got to learn lessons and quickly," he said. "They've scored a wonder goal, a comedy of errors goal and an own goal. At this level you can't afford to give teams anything, that's the benchmark of a good team.
"We've got to improve and we need to work harder, I've told the players that."
The manager expects another stern test this weekend when Bromley visit Melbourne Park. He said: "I know they flirted a bit with relegation last season but they've got some good players.
"You can see that only one team (Salisbury City) has won their opening two games. It's going to be such a tight league. I know it's a cliche, but there are no easy games."