New signing Josh McEachran could recover from injury in time to face Wigan Athletic on Saturday but Almen Abdi remains absent due to a foot problem as Watford look to make it three victories on the bounce in the Championship.
McEachran, who joined on loan from Chelsea last Friday, started in Watford’s League Cup defeat to Norwich City in midweek but had to come off before half-time with a back spasm.
"It is not as bad as we thought," Hornets boss Gianfranco Zola said on Thursday. "Yesterday (Wednesday) he was much better and the medical team told me he would return to training tomorrow (Friday) so he could be available against Wigan."
There was less good news regarding Abdi’s fitness however. The midfielder has not played since Watford’s defeat to Blackpool on August 31.
"Almen unfortunately won't be ready for the Wigan game. He has an inflammation under the foot - it is taking a little bit longer than expected," Zola said.
"It is a part of the body where you stimulate it all the time when you walk and it can become a real problem if you are not careful so we are trying to take extra care with the injury."
The Watford head coach admitted some of his players are tired after playing extra-time against Norwich but the Italian said there are no fresh injuries to his squad.
Long-term absentees Nyron Nosworthy and Tommie Hoban are still out.
Wigan were among the pre-season favourites to contend for promotion, but Owen Coyle’s men have so far struggled to live up to their billing.
The Lactics currently sit 11th in the table and were roundly beaten 5-0 by Manchester City in midweek. Coyle’s side has failed to score away from home since the opening day of the season.
"They are one of the teams who came down last season but are still a good team. It will be another competitive match,” Zola added.
"Wigan will have more quality in the side than Barnsley but we are going into the match in a good moment and we are positive."