Leicester manager Nigel Pearson will not rush summer signing Zak Whitbread into action until he is convinced the defender is fully fit.
Whitbread did not feature in any of the Foxes' pre-season friendly matches following his arrival on a free transfer from Norwich.
Pearson is short of defensive options ahead of the npower Championship opener at home to Peterborough on Saturday.
Sean St Ledger has been ruled out of the start of the campaign with a knee injury while teenager Liam Moore, who has been partnering captain Wes Morgan at the heart of the Leicester defence, may have suffered a fractured cheekbone during the Capital One Cup win at Torquay on Tuesday night. The club are waiting for results of a scan.
However, Pearson insists he is not tempted to call on Whitbread to fill the void.
He said: "He is close but when he is back I want him to stay fit. I am prepared to wait a little bit longer to get him in the right situation. I am sure he has played at this stage before but I want to make sure he is absolutely spot on.
"We are short of a few defensive options at the moment. That is how it is but we will get players back in the fray before too long."