Spalding United defender Paul Walker has been ruled out of action for six weeks.
But the Tulips are ready to welcome back Jordan Lemon for the first time since the opening pre-season game when he suffered a broken wrist.
Walker – who was ever-present last term – pulled out of Saturday’s Evo-Stik South defeat at Newcastle Town due to appendicitis.
Boss Chris Rawlinson said: “He had played 80 consecutive games so it’s a massive blow to lose him – but his health is our main concern.
“Lemon’s cast will come off on Thursday and hopefully he will get the all-clear to play at Stamford on Saturday. He has already trained with us and he’s a fit lad.”
The derby at Stamford has been brought forward after both clubs suffered early exits in the Emirates FA Cup.
We were nowhere near good enough. Some players need to have a hard look at themselves.Chris Rawlinson
Spalding were hit for six on Saturday in their first league defeat of the season, leaving Rawlinson to issue an apology and question the lifestyle of some players away from the football club.
He said: “I’m not making any excuses, even though we had four players missing.
“Three of those can play at the back so we were left a bit short defensively.
“We were nowhere near good enough. Some players need to have a hard look at themselves.
“They are well paid by the club and I’m not happy about their lifestyles off the pitch.
“I can only manage what they do at the club. In training, the attitude is spot on.
“But they need to realise that they can’t just get by with their former glories and reputations.
“You need desire to play at this level. If they don’t have it then I’ll bring in young and hungry players who will look after themselves.”