Cockers may turn to the experienced Leicester Tigers' pair of Croft and Murphy
Two of Leicester Tigers' most experienced internationals could return to the starting line-up for the visit of Saracens on Saturday.
The winners of three of the last four Aviva Premiership titles will play out the latest chapter in their ever-growing rivalry under the floodlights at Welford Road.
Third-placed Leicester could welcome back influential duo Tom Croft and Geordan Murphy for the game against second-placed Saracens.
The two men have more than 100 Test caps and made almost 400 starts for Leicester between them and Tigers could use that experience in a game that is likely to be played in a red-hot atmosphere.
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"Tom Croft is fit to play and Geordan Murphy is good to go as well," said director of rugby Richard Cockerill.
"Thomas Waldrom may come back to us from the England camp but that is to be decided.
"We will lose Toby Flood and Manu Tuilagi, and Martin Castrogiovanni is with Italy.
"Louis Deacon will be a late call after the knock on his shoulder at Harlequins last week. But if he doesn't make it, Graham Kitchener and Ed Slater have played there in big games in the past and know what they are doing."
Cockerill confirmed that loose-head prop Boris Stankovich was unlikely to make the Saracens game with an Achilles problem.
Back-rower Wessel Jooste was also unlikely to be in the squad despite returning to fitness for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on his first appearance for the club in an A League match in September.
The 29-year-old former Bourgoin player has been approached by injury-struck Castres in the French Top 14 and was over in France yesterday trying to sort out a deal to play there for the rest of the season.
"Wessel hasn't played for us and, potentially, there may not be much chance for him to play for the rest of the season," said Cockerill.
"There is a very good opportunity for him to play at Castres, however, because they have lots of injuries.
"The whole thing has been a little bit unfortunate from start to finish after he picked up quite a nasty nerve injury.
"We may or may not have been able to offer him a contract next season so the right thing for us to do was for us to let him go to Castres and try and give him the chance to get a contract next season.
"I could have kept hold of him but you have to look at the bigger picture."
Speaking with regard to Monday's story in the Leicester Mercury linking Northampton fly-half Ryan Lamb with a move to Welford Road, Cockerill refused to confirm his capture but said: "With George Ford leaving, we need cover at fly-half. We need more goal-kickers within the squad and Dan Bowden is not a recognised goal-kicker.
"We are looking across the half-back position at players that can fit that bill and he is one of those that is available."