Captain Richie Foran misses out again as Inverness take on Ross County in the Highland derby at the Tulloch Caledonian Thistle Stadium on New Year's Day.
The Irishman picked up a shoulder injury against Aberdeen just before Christmas and could be out for two months.
Midfielder James Vincent remains out as he continues his recovery from a leg fracture.
John Hughes gets his first experience of the Highland derby but the Caley boss is well aware of the importance of local rivalries.
As a robust centre-half, Hughes played for Celtic against Rangers, played for and managed Hibernian against Hearts and was involved in the Ayrshire derby in the latter stages of his career when he featured for Ayr United against Kilmarnock.
The former Falkirk boss, consequently, is "very much" looking forward to the visit of the Staggies for what he hopes will be his first home win since taking over from Terry Butcher at the beginning of December.
"I have been involved in a few derbies all over the country," said Hughes.
"I know the importance of them to the supporters.
"They want the bragging rights.
"Hopefully it will be a sell-out and hopefully the three points can stay in Inverness."
County manager Derek Adams hopes to have a full squad available.
Steven Saunders played through illness against Aberdeen on Sunday but is expected to be fit for the game.
Adams is hoping to re-sign Greek defender Evangelos Ikonomou and Manchester City goalkeeper Eirik Johansen but the deals will not be done in time for the short trip to the Caledonian Stadium.
Scott Boyd is hoping the derby will kick-start the Staggies' season.
Adams' struggling side are second-bottom of the Scottish Premiership and without the win in 10 games, the most recent defeat coming at Aberdeen on Sunday where Nicky Low's early free-kick proved to be the difference between the two teams.
Despite their dismal form, Boyd is looking forward to a "massive" game at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium which he believes offers the opportunity for County to turn their season around.
"The boys all know it is a massive game for us and it is a good chance for us to kick on this season and hopefully get up this league," said the 27-year-old former Partick Thistle defender.
"With it being a derby anything can happen, we are playing against a very good side but we will be looking to get the three points.
"There have been a lot of good derbies between the two clubs and there is nothing better than going into this game after the disappointing run we have been on.
"It is a chance to go there and show everyone how hard we are working and show how much we want to put things right this season.
"We know we have good players here but things haven't clicked at times and we have been quite unfortunate with decisions.
"But at the end of the day I believe you make your own luck so if we keep working hard at training and on the field then the results will turn."