STEVE Bruce is facing a goalkeeper crisis ahead of Saturdays home game with Hull City after Craig Gordon was forced to withdraw from Scotlands World Cup qualifier with Holland because of a thigh problem.
With Marton Fulop also missing out on international duty because of a back injury, Bruce could be without both of his leading goalkeepers this weekend.
That would mean calling upon the services of either untried 21-year-old Trevor Carson, who is yet to make a senior appearance for the Black Cats, or 38-year-old goalkeeping coach Alan Fettis.
Gordon failed to pass a mid-afternoon fitness test despite Scotland boss George Burley having delivered an upbeat assessment of his condition on Tuesday evening.
Gordon injured his thigh during Scotlands 2-0 win over Macedonia on Saturday, and having struggled with a number of injury problems in the last 12 months, there is a major question mark over his involvement at the Stadium of Light in two days time.
Fulops availability is equally uncertain, with the Hungarian having sat out his national sides game with Sweden at the weekend because of a back injury.
Fulop was nursing a back problem as he produced an unconvincing display in last months 2-1 win over Blackburn, but Bruce will be hoping he has improved sufficiently to make a rapid return to the first team against Hull.