Meulensteen has just two fit centre-backs for the trips to Norwich City and Hull
Rene Meulensteen is wrapping Aaron Hughes and Fernando Amorebieta in cotton wool in a bid to avoid a defensive crisis at Craven Cottage.
Injuries to skipper Brede Hangeland and Philippe Senderos leaves Fulham with just two fit centre-backs for the Boxing Day clash at Norwich City.
And boss Meulensteen is keeping his fingers crossed Hughes and Amorebieta, who has just returned to the side following a hamstring problem, come through the next few days unscathed ahead of trips to Carrow Road and Hull in the space of 72 hours.
He said: "Philippe won't be fit for the Norwich and Hull games. We need to assess him to see if he will be available to face West Ham.
"I really hope nothing will happen to Aaron and Fernando against Norwich because that could cause problems against Hull.
"We've got one or two back-up options with players who could do a job there, like John Arne Riise, but then if something happened to Aaron Hughes we would have two left-footed centre-backs, which is not ideal."