Sunderland have been boosted by the news that leading scorer Darren Bent could be back in action this weekend after allaying fears of a hamstring problem which could have seen him sidelined for several weeks.
The 25-year-old England international suffered a knock in last weekend's 1-0 victory over Arsenal, but subsequent scans have revealed no major damage.
Black Cats boss Bruce told The Chronicle: "If it was just a cut or a knock that would be one thing, but he's obviously felt something. We think it was more cramp and fatigue and the muscle tightening up.
"We've been very thorough in the scans and all the stuff that we can do. With a hamstring injury he wouldn't be bounding around like he was on Thursday if he'd nicked it.
"We'll see how he is on Friday, but it gave everyone a huge lift to see him on the training ground, that's for sure.
"He did his work with the physios and it was pretty vigorous. It wasn't half-paced or anything like that and he was flying.
"If he does not have any reaction, has an outstanding chance been involved on Saturday. It's great news because we thought he would be out for three weeks."