Miguel Britos is doubtful for Watford's Premier League clash with Manchester United on Tuesday night (28 November), although head coach Marco Silva will wait until the last moment to make a final decision on the defender's availability.
Combative centre-back Britos started his ninth game of the season at Newcastle United on Saturday [25 November], although was replaced by Sebastian Prodl after 52 minutes of a resounding 3-0 win at St James' Park after feeling the lingering effects of a robust challenge committed before the interval.
"The situation with Britos we will keep open," Silva said of the Uruguayan at his pre-match press conference at London Colney on Monday. "He is still in doubt. We'll see.
"I'm not sure if he's able to play. We have one more session tomorrow, one more session to prepare for the match and then we will take the decision."
With the likes of Younes Kaboul (hamstring), Craig Cathcart and Tommie Hoban (both knee) all long-term absentees, Watford have been left short of centre-back options this season with only Britos, Christian Kabasele and Adrian Mariappa fit and available for selection on a regular basis.
Prodl's 38-minute cameo against Newcastle was his first appearance since limping out of Austria's narrow World Cup qualifying defeat to Wales in early September with a hamstring issue. The 30-year-old had been an unused substitute during the 1-1 draw with West Ham United and Silva has no concerns over his fitness.
"He's improving his physical condition," he said. "It's been two months without competition, two months without training with the team. It's hard. He's improving and played almost 45 minutes. That's good for him."
Watford will be boosted by the return of Troy Deeney against United, with the Hornets captain having now completed a three-match suspension for violent conduct handed down by the Football Association (FA) following his ugly altercation with midfielder Joe Allen during the 1-0 home defeat by Stoke City on 28 October.
And while Nigerian forward Isaac Success could return from a long-term knee injury in the run-up to the hectic festive period, Silva offered no optimism with regards to the respective recoveries of Kaboul, Cathcart and midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah.
"Maybe Success looks like the next few weeks," he added. "The others we have big doubts about."
The highly-regarded Silva unsurprisingly once again declined to discuss links to the vacant Everton managerial hotseat before the visit of United to Vicarage Road, although did admit that he is relishing another opportunity to go head-to-head with friend and compatriot Jose Mourinho.
"It's a good opportunity for me to stay a little bit more with him. Very good game for us against a big team - a tough game, sure," he said. "Before the match we will chat a little bit and after, it is Watford v Man United. It's a very good relationship and he's a very good person.
"For Portugal, he has been a very important coach but tomorrow it is one against the other and of course I want to win."