Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is concerned goalkeeper Craig Gordon will not be fit for the start of the season.
Gordon endured a frustrating past campaign after being sidelined with an ankle injury and then underwent a knee operation in May.
The former Hearts keeper was confident of being fit to return in time for the Black Cats' opening game of the campaign against Bolton Wanderers on 15th August.
However, he has yet to fully recover from the operation and Bruce doubts Gordon will be available for the trip to the Reebok Stadium.
"Craig's not recovered and that's a worry after his operation," said Bruce.
"It's not a huge, huge worry - the boy will be okay - but my worry is will he be fit to start the season, given it's the same knee as the one he had the operation on."
The injury worry means Gordon is also unlikely to be ready to be involved in Scotland's 2010 World Cup qualifier against Norway on 12th August.
Scotland coach George Burley told the Scottish Daily Mail: "Craig is one of the top goalkeepers anywhere in Europe and it would be a massive blow if he was not able to make the Norway game.
"He is going to see the specialist again within the next week.
"We will know after that if he has a chance of being in contention, but Steve Bruce and Sunderland's medical staff feel it is unlikely he will be ready."