Club captain Sylvain Distin will not be rushed back after his spell on the sidelines through injury according to Stuart Pearce.
The big Frenchman's groin strain is clearing up slowly but surely, but even with the derby match looming in just over a week's time the manager will not be taking a risk.
"I don't think he's far off at present, we'll know a touch more in a week's time. He's building up his general fitness as we speak, but it will be a slow-ish progression rather than pitching him in."
Despite starting the season without either his captain or his deputy, Richard Dunne, the manager has been able to call on other members of his squad to play in the centre of the defence. And with City unbeaten so far, Dunne already back and playing like he was never away, Pearce is in the happy position where there is no need to fret over a returning player's readiness.
"Sometimes it's easier when results are going well, you can afford not to rush players. One thing I have said to the physios from the offset is make sure when players come back to me they are right, I don't think I've ever put pressure on the physios to rush players back. I need players coming back to me fully fit rather than half-fit."
Despite the fine efforts of his replacements, Distin remains a key part of the defensive jigsaw at City but the great start to the season means that the manager will be able to pick from a position of strength very soon.
"Stephen Jordan's been at centre-half, Nedum played last Saturday, so we have got options if Sylvain's not available but he is a big player for us."