Lee Cattermole will not be risked against Aston Villa but John Mensah could add to Sunderland manager Steve Bruce's defensive options.
All-action midfielder Cattermole has returned to full training with his Black Cats team-mates having been ruled out of action since suffering knee ligament damage in the victory over Liverpool on 17th October.
Bruce has pencilled the former Wigan and Middlesbrough player in for a reserve outing on Wednesday evening as he refuses to rush Cattermole back into action despite Sunderland's recent slide.
The Wearside outfit have won just one of their eight matches in Cattermole's absence, sliding down the table and crashing out of the Carling Cup at the hands of Tuesday's visitors to the Stadium of Light.
Villa arrive full of confidence in the wake of their impressive victory over Manchester United, while Bruce's troops allowed two points to slip away as Portsmouth snatched a last-gasp leveller.
The Sunderland boss will see his options boosted by the return of Phil Bardsley and Kieran Richardson after suspension, while Ghana captain Mensah may be involved following his spell out with a calf injury.
Bruce told the Sunderland Echo: "Phil and Kieran are available now for Tuesday. John Mensah could possibly be involved.
"Lee Cattermole is training, but Tuesday will be too early for him.
"There's a reserve game on Wednesday - we'll see how he is after three days' training. It's possible."
Meanwhile, defender Michael Turner has called on his team-mates to remain positive despite seeing two points slip through their grasp against struggling Pompey.
Sunderland's impressive home victory over Arsenal was followed by defeats at Wigan and Fulham prior to the Portsmouth game.
Turner has called on the Black Cats to focus on their overall record on Wearside this season ahead of the meeting with Martin O'Neill's men on Tuesday night.
He said: "It was massively disappointing not to win on Saturday. We should have got the three points, especially after the way we played in the first half.
"But I don't think there was a hangover from the two away games we lost before Saturday, and there shouldn't be a hangover for us against Villa because our home form has been extremely good. We feel we can continue that.
"We went into Saturday's game feeling that we could get another victory, and we were very close. We still have a good home record and we have another home game now to feel upbeat about."