Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has dismissed suggestions that defender Michael Turner might not play again this season.
The 27-year-old has been missing since December 22 after he damaged his knee when colliding with a post as he cleared an effort from Everton's Tim Cahill off the line at the Stadium of Light.
Turner visited a specialist last week after complaining of pain in the knee following his return to training amid fears that he had suffered a setback.
However, despite being given the all-clear to step up his recovery, rumours have been circulating that his season could be over.
But Bruce told the club's official website, www.safc.com: "We have seen a specialist and the one thing he's got to do now is get his thigh muscles stronger.
"It's still disappointing for Michael, but we are still hoping he will be back some time in the coming weeks."