Steve Bruce is prepared to gamble on John Mensah's fitness as he looks to address a defensive dilemma.
The Sunderland boss finds himself down to the bare bones when it comes to centre-halves, having endured a torrid week on the injury front.
The Black Cats revealed on Thursday that first-choice pairing Titus Bramble and Michael Turner are both set for prolonged spells on the sidelines after picking up knocks.
That has left Bruce facing something of a selection quandary ahead of a trip to Wolves on Saturday.
He is aware that he needs to have some experience at the heart of his back four and admits he may throw injury-ravaged Mensah into action at Molineux, even though the Ghanaian has only recently recovered from a dislocated shoulder.
Bruce said: "It would be a big gamble. It's a gamble, but with his ability, if he can do it, I am prepared to make that gamble - if he can do it.
"He trained today with it - in pain, I have to say - but he wants to try to give it a go, so a lot will depend on him.
"It's typical of him, he comes in and wants to train, which is probably three weeks quicker than he should be.
"But he wants to give it a go, so let's hope the specialists are right. They don't think by him training on it he can do any more damage, that's the most important thing.
"But it is sore, as you can imagine. John trained this morning and came through it and if he comes through tomorrow, then it will be his call."