Martin O'Neill has discussed the progress of Sunderland's injured players - with mixed news on a high-profile trio.
While Nicklas Bendtner and Lee Cattermole are on the comeback trail, Wes Brown is facing a lengthier spell on the sidelines.
But the news regarding the former Manchester United and England defender is not as bad as had initially been feared.
"There were concerns the injury might have been season-ending, but the news is a bit better, I think," said O'Neill.
"He is still going to be out for a long, long time."
Bendtner, meanwhile, is said to be making 'decent progress' and could soon be joining Simon Mignolet in the masked-men club.
O'Neill joked: "He will also be fitted with some type of mask so now we'll have a couple of players with masks!"
Cattermole is set to return from injury 'by the end of next week' and the Sunderland boss stressed this would also be a huge positive.
"That would be very encouraging for us," added O'Neill.