Sunderland manager Roy Keane has confirmed the club has signed Under 20 New Zealand international Jack Pelter on a short-term contract.
Pelter, who is the captain of the Under 20 team, has put pen-to-paper on a month-long deal with the Black Cats, in order for his fitness to be monitored.
The 20-year-old played in pre-season for Sunderland, in games against Scunthorpe and Berwick Rangers, only to suffer an ankle injury whilst playing in the Under 20 World Cup this summer and has not featured since.
Keane would like to capture the centre-back on a full-time basis, but needs to be reassured about the player's fitness before committing to a longer contract.
"Jack has done well since he came to the club but he has a slight injury, we're looking at it," Keane told the club's official website.
"We've only signed him for a month, we're checking his medical stuff and we don't expect any problems.
"Hopefully, he will be part of our reserve team for the next few months and add competition to the squad."
Meanwhile, Trinidad & Tobago winger Carlos Edwards hopes to return to action for Sunderland's next game against Reading at The Stadium of Light.
The 28-year-old has been sidelined for the past three-and-a-half weeks after tearing his hamstring against Birmingham earlier in the season and is now awaiting the results of a scan.
Edwards is back in light training and no one wishes him a speedy recovery more than his manager.
Keane said: "We hope Carlos has a chance for Reading. He's done a bit of light training this week but you have to be careful with a hamstring injury - anyone will tell you that.
"You think you are getting there, you push it and then you are out for a bit longer. He won't be doing too much over the next two or three days and we'll have to see next week.
"Carlos has been a miss; he is a big player for us."