Sunderland boss Steve Bruce could hand Alan Hutton a debut against Wigan with injury problems still hampering his plans.
Bruce recruited Hutton on loan from Tottenham, as well as signing Sheffield United's Matthew Kilgallon, during the transfer window with his defensive resources having been stretched for months.
and John Mensah are struggling with hamstring injuries and that could mean a start at right-back for Hutton.
Bruce said: "If I do bring in Alan to make his debut, that would be the 15th different back-four in 24 games, which is quite remarkable in terms of injuries and suspensions to your defenders.
"But that's why we have brought a couple in. We have made sure we have got adequate cover there because it has been quite unbelievable the number of injuries we have had, particularly to defenders."