Sunderland manager Steve Bruce hopes John Mensah will be fit enough to make his first start in almost two months when the Black Cats face Arsenal.
The Ghana captain has been sidelined since starting the 5-2 victory against Wolves in September but could return to the first team in place of the suspended Michael Turner.
Bruce said: "John's resumed full training after what's been a really frustrating time for him.
"He's been there or thereabouts for several weeks in terms of full fitness, only to keep picking up one niggling injury after another.
"But he resumed full training this week and it's just a case now of seeing how he comes through.
"I know he's been out for a while but if he's fit I'll have no qualms about playing him, because he's one of those players who are in naturally great condition and who are never far away from being fit enough.
"He's a natural athlete and if he comes through this week alright he'll come into the reckoning."