Wasps flanker Thomas Young could be in contention to make his Wales debut in Sunday’s Six Nations opener against Italy.
And in No 8 Faletau’s expected absence, it might open the door for 24-year-old Young, whose father is Wasps rugby director and former Wales prop Dai Young, to secure a bench spot at Stadio Olimpico.
Gloucester’s Ross Moriarty is expected to wear the No 8 shirt, packing down alongside flankers Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric, with Jake Ball forging Wales’ second-row partnership alongside new captain Alun Wyn Jones.
But in terms of back-row cover, it would then appear to be a choice among the replacements for interim head coach Rob Howley between Ospreys pair James King and Olly Cracknell, plus Young, who broke into the Wales squad a fortnight ago following several outstanding Wasps displays.
At this stage, Faletau has not fully recovered from a knee injury suffered on Christmas Eve, and lock Charteris is nursing what Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde described as “a slight fracture in his hand”.
But both players are, it is understood, on course to be available for next week’s Principality Stadium appointment with Six Nations title holders England.
“Faletau is still progressing,” said McBryde. “It is still early days. Everything is heading in the right direction, really.
“(Fit) for this week? No, it will be too early this week. We are just playing the waiting game. There are certain things that need to be ticked off, and that just takes time, really.
“It is obviously going to be a big blow for Taulupe, as it would be for anyone in that back-row, because they are more than aware of the competition that exists there.
“If they are not playing, it means that someone else has an opportunity to play.
“Nobody likes to be injured for a game, especially a Six Nations opener. He is disappointed, but it is just one of those things, really.
“There is healthy competition. Both Olly and Thomas, new faces in the back-row, just add to that mix that keeps everyone on their toes.
“It is all about getting the balance right in that back-row. We are in a healthy place at the moment, and whoever gets the nod, I am sure they will perform on the day.”
Wales have not lost to Italy since 2007, while they topped 60 points each time in winning the last two Six Nations encounters between the countries.
But the Azzurri, with new head coach Conor O’Shea in charge, showed their potential by claiming an historic victory over South Africa in Florence earlier this season.
McBryde added: “Italy will come into the competition full of confidence having had a good result against South Africa, so they know they can perform on the big stage against a good team.
“They took it up-front against the Springboks. They got to a stage in that game where they thought they were in with a shout, and everybody raised their game.
“We know they are a big threat. We have got to be on our guard. It’s really about concentrating on us and what we are in control of when we go out to Rome.
“There are a lot of things we can focus on in being the best we can be.
“Training has been excellent. We feel we are in a good place, and hopefully that will be reflected in the performance on Sunday.”