Fulham manager Martin Jol still believes Brede Hangeland's sending off last weekend was harsh and knows his absence will make things difficult in Saturday's physical duel with Stoke.
The Norway international was sent off after 31 minutes against Sunderland for a two-footed challenge on Lee Cattermole when the game was goalless.
Fulham went onto lose the match 3-1 and will be hoping for a return to winning ways when they travel to Stoke this weekend.
The Cottagers are unbeaten in their last four away matches, but Jol knows it will be tough to take anything away from the Britannia Stadium without their captain.
"We have not appealed the decision," he said.
"I felt it was very harsh, but there is always a risk and I didn't want to take that risk.
"If you appeal, they can make it four games instead of three but I still think it was harsh.
"If you saw the Emmanuel Adebayor's challenge [against Arsenal], it was different and you can't compare the two challenges so I think three games is too much.
"We have to cope with it. We have to come up with different solutions.
"We don't have another Hangeland. We have Philippe Senderos and hopefully, if he is still fit, he will come in and replace him.
"Hopefully Aaron Hughes and the players we have got are strong enough because I saw them against West Ham. It is quite a challenge."
Hangeland will be joined on the sidelines by a number of other key players for trip to the Potteries.
Alex Kacaniklic, Bryan Ruiz, Kieran Richardson and Mickael Tavares are all out with hamstring injuries, while Simon Davies will not return to training after a hip complaint until next week.
Mahamadou Diarra and Chris Baird both return for Fulham, although Kerim Frei is unavailable after a loan spell with Cardiff.
Today is the last day Football League clubs can make loan acquisitions and there has been movement at the west London club.
Goalkeeper David Stockdale and striker Marcello Trotta have joined Hull and Brentford respectively, while Alex Smith is expected to join Leyton Orient later this afternoon.
"We've got a good connection with Hull," Jol said.
"I know Steve Bruce and if something happens to Mark Schwarzer I can always call him back.
"That is the agreement so there is no problem. He was desperate for games and I think he needs to play and keep his rhythm.
"Trotta had different plans. He didn't want to go to the lower leagues before so we talked to him and I think understands that it is a nice opportunity for him to get games and to play because is a very young player."