The defender was sent off during Saturday's home defeat by MK Dons and begins a three-match ban at Brisbane Road.
Adam Virgo, who was suspended at the weekend, is poised to return to the back four in El-Abd's absence.
Boss Russell Slade is set to hand a start to striker Glenn Murray, who is fit again after hernia surgery, and left-back Jim McNulty provided he has recovered from having a wisdom tooth removed.
Back-up goalkeeper Graeme Smith could also be given a run-out.
Andrew Whing is still missing as he recovers from a double hernia op and fellow defender Colin Hawkins remains on the sidelines with a heel injury.