Steve Bruce is hopeful that Connor Wickham's knee injury is not as bad as first feared.
The 18-year-old suffered suspected ligament damage just seconds into Saturday's 1-0 Premier League defeat by Manchester United.
The Sunderland boss had been bracing himself for a long lay-off in the immediate aftermath of the game, however initial scans have suggested the outlook may be less gloomy.
The Black Cats will learn the full extent of any damage later this week.
Bruce said: "Initial scans are encouraging, but hopefully we will know more by the end of the week."
Wickham also revealed the better news via Twitter on Monday night.
The striker tweeted: "Scans showing injury not as bad as first thought, waiting to see a knee specialist later in the week."