Manager Dave Jones will assess the fitness of Jay Bothroyd on Tuesday morning as Cardiff look to dump Stoke out of the cup at the second time of asking.
The influential striker, whose 15 goals this term led to a debut England cap against France, has managed just three goalless appearances since that mid-November friendly defeat at Wembley.
A hamstring injury sustained after just eight minutes of the Championship draw against Preston on December 4 has kept Boothroyd sidelined for a lot longer than initially expected.
But the 28-year-old could well find himself in Cardiff’s matchday 18 in the Welsh capital as the Bluebirds look to set up a fourth-round meeting with either Wolves or Doncaster who also meet in a third-round replay on Tuesday night.
“Jay’s been training for a few days now so we’ll assess him on Tuesday morning and then I’ll pick my team once I know about all the other little niggles we’ve got,” said Jones. “We’ll see, we’ll just see.”
Jones added: “We worked so hard at Stoke and we’re going to have to work hard again if we want to go through. I’m sure everybody is looking forward to it. This is the most important game because it’s the next one.”
Jones is unlikely to risk Craig Bellamy’s troublesome knee with Saturday in mind after the forward played 90 minutes against Norwich at the weekend, though fellow forward Jon Parkin is expected to be fit to lead the line against his former club.
Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller is back in contention for the game after missing Saturday’s 2-0 win over Bolton due to a family bereavement.
Jermaine Pennant may also return to the starting line-up on the wing having been left benched and unused against Bolton as manager Tony Pulis opted for a more solid midfield.
Striker Eidur Gudjohnsen remains doubtful with a neck injury, while fellow forward Mamady Sidibe continues to recover from an Achilles problem.
Stoke (from): Begovic, Collins, Delap, Etherington, Walters, Whelan, Higginbotham, Huth, Pennant, Pugh, Shawcross, Whitehead, Wilkinson, Diao, Faye, Fuller, Gudjohnsen, Jones, Sorensen, Tuncay, Wilson, Nash, Shotton, Tonge.