Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has revealed he expects new-recruit John O'Shea to miss Saturday's Premier League curtain-raiser at Liverpool due to injury.
The Irish defender, who arrived at the Stadium of Light from Manchester United this summer, picked up a hamstring strain on his Black Cats debut in their friendly against Arminia Bielefeld.
The 30-year-old has been undergoing treatment but Bruce says this weekend's clash at Anfield is likely to come too soon for him.
Asked if O'Shea had any chance of featuring, Bruce told Sunderland's official website: "We don't think so, and I would be unwise to rush him back.
"He's close, but he's got a hamstring strain so we have to make sure he's right.
"When he is right and plays he'll be all the better for it because John O'Shea is a big acquisition for this football club."
O'Shea's injury will also see him miss the Republic of Ireland's friendly clash with Croatia on Wednesday night.