Midfielders Andy Reid and Jack Colback will go straight into the Sunderland squad for the FA Cup third-round clash with Notts County after being recalled from loan.
Reid and Colback are back on Wearside following spells with Sheffield United and Ipswich respectively.
Both will be in contention with Reid having completed a three-match ban by sitting out the Blades' fixtures against Burnley and Doncaster and the Black Cats' midweek trip to Aston Villa.
They are needed with David Meyler having damaged his cruciate ligament at Villa, although scans have revealed he has not ruptured it for a second time, while Danny Welbeck tore a hamstring and Bolo Zenden is suspended after being sent off in the same game.
In addition, skipper Lee Cattermole (back) is sidelined for a month while Michael Turner and Fraizer Campbell (both knee), Nedum Onuoha (hamstring) and John Mensah (ankle) are still out.