Instonians coach David Scott knows his team needs more strength in depth if they are to seriously challenge for a place in next season's Irish Hockey League.
But until Ireland's most capped player Patrick Brown and current internationals Mark Gleghorne and Steven Redpath return to action, it's a case of trying to keep in touch with the early pacesetters in the Podium Ulster Premier League.
Inst have just one win from three league games and they realise they can't afford to be further adrift of champions Cookstown if they are to make any impact. That means that Saturday's home clash with fierce rivals Annadale is of vital importance, a game in which they must win and, at worst, avoid defeat.
"We have Mark Wainwright back this week, but it could be at least another month before Gleghorne and Redpath are available," admits Inst's PRO Tom Reid.
"Hopefully Patrick Brown will be available sooner than later, as his presence and steadying influence makes a big difference."
Annadale coach David Smyth is keeping his fingers crossed that younger brother David is fit again to marshal the defence and that striker Peter Caruth doesn't pick up an injury when he makes his Irish international debut in this evening's second game against Argentina.
Podium Premier League: Instonians v Annadale, Shaw's Bridge, 1pm (Umpires, C Beattie, C Hutchinson); Cookstown v Mossley, Cookstown HS, 2.30pm (Umpires, R Johnston, E McFerran); Lisnagarvey v Bangor, Hillsborough, 2.30pm (Umpires, D Clarke, R Burton); Raphoe v Banbridge, Royal & Prior, 2.30pm (Umpires, C Browne, C McConkey).Senior One: Portadown v South Antrim, Edenvilla 1pm (Umpires, L Allen, T Lorimer); North Down v Queen's, Comber LC, 2.30pm (Umpires, T Templeton, J Wray); Antrim v Ballynahinch, Antrim Forum, 1pm (Umpires, D Marshall, A Gregg).Irish Hockey Trophy 1st round: Weston v Navan, Armagh v Dublin Univ., Civil Service v Newry, Kilkeel v Clontarf, Belfast Harlequins v Skerries, Bray v Naas, Avoca v Suttonians.