Goalkeeper Craig Gordon will be back in Premier League action before the end of September in a boost to Sunderland boss Steve Bruce.
The Scotland international has been sidelined since breaking his arm during pre-season training.
Gordon missed almost three months of the last campaign with the same injury after a previous break, but he is close to making a return to training.
Bruce has now pencilled the former Hearts shot-stopper in for a first-team comeback in next week's Carling Cup clash with West Ham United.
"Craig will be pushing by the end of the month," said Bruce.
"If he is physically fit, the West Ham match in the Carling Cup next week is the game I will think about playing him in."