Injury worries mount ahead of Cup match
Mick McCarthy may have to reshuffle his pack for Saturday's FA Cup 3rd Round game against Hartlepool, as the physio's room at Sunderland starts to fill.
McCarthy is already without long-term absentees Colin Healy and Matty Piper (who may face yet more surgery), Gary Breen, Sean Thornton, Ben Clark and Paul Thirlwell.
But Joachim Bjorklund, Tommy Smith and the influential John Oster all picked up knocks during the busy Christmas match schedule, and the gaffer doesn't yet know if they'll be fit for Saturday's game.
Add to this the fact that Kevin Kyle is suspended, and it means that the 'Pool game could see Michael Proctor could get his first start for a month. Darren Williams could take Paul Thirlwell's place in central midfield, or Jason McAteer could be moved into the middle.