Sunderland have been handed an injury boost with the news that defender Paul McShane is likely to return to action ahead of schedule.
The 23-year-old had been expected to be unavailable for anywhere up to three months after sustaining a knee injury against Darlington on 17th July that required an operation.
However, McShane's rehabilitation is progressing well and now manager Steve Bruce believes he could be back by the middle of September.
"Initially we expected Paul to be out for around three months, but he's ahead of schedule at the moment," Bruce told the club's official website.
"Hopefully he'll be back in training in around two to three weeks."
McShane made just three appearances for the Black Cats last season having spent just under five months on loan with Premier League strugglers Hull City.