The Frenchman is sidelined for several months after damaging knee ligaments in North End’s recent defeat at the hands of Newcastle.
Nolan impressed during the draw at Blackpool and earned himself a ringing endorsement from Irvine but was replaced by Chilvers against Cardiff at the weekend.
Chilvers, who revealed on Monday his absence from last week’s derby was due to suspected swine flu, admitted he struggled at Cardiff but feels he is back to full fitness again.
He said: “I came back to training last Thursday and felt like someone had stolen my lungs. At Cardiff I was okay, a little bit tired towards the end of the game, but it was nice to be back playing again.”
Midfielder Barry Nicholson remains a long-term absentee as Preston look to end a run of six games without a win.