Sunderland boss Simon Grayson could welcome back defensive reinforcements as he looks to end a six-game run without a Sky Bet Championship victory against high-flying Cardiff.
Marc Wilson (groin) and John O'Shea (calf) are closing in on returns, while loan signings Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning could be options having been ineligible for Wednesday night's Carabao Cup trip to parent club Everton.
In addition, midfielder Aiden McGeady is close to being available after shaking off a hamstring problem and strikers Duncan Watmore and Josh Maja are both working their way back from knee injuries.
Grayson made six changes for the 3-0 defeat at Goodison Park and Robin Ruiter, Wilson, Bryan Oviedo, Lee Cattermole, Callum McManaman and Jonny Williams could all return with the Black Cats desperate to improve on a return of just two points from the last 18 they have contested.
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock could freshen up his attack as the Bluebirds look for a first win since the end of August.
Liam Feeney, a deadline day signing from Blackburn, Danny Ward and Lee Tomlin all impressed when coming off the bench against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, with defender Sol Bamba netting a stoppage-time equaliser.
Midfielder Craig Bryson will be hoping to retain his place after being drafted back into the side against the Owls, but Danish forward Kenneth Zohore could be taken out of the frontline after failing to score since Cardiff's win at Burton in their opening game.
Scottish defender Callum Paterson continues to build up his fitness following knee surgery as the summer signing from Hearts closes in on first-team contention.