Roy Keane could recall fit again Carlos Edwards and Andy Cole for Saturday's Wear-Tyne derby with Newcastle, live on Sky Sports 1.
Cole is yet to figure for Sunderland since his move from Birmingham, while Edwards hasn't featured since August.
Both though came through an hour for the reserves on Tuesday unscathed and are now in Keane's first team plans.
"We'll have to see what happens because though they've had no reaction from the game on Tuesday so far, you do get occasions where it takes a few days before you know for sure if there's going to be any strain," Keane told the Sunderland Echo.
"We'll be guided by the advice of the medical staff because the last thing we want to do is take unnecessary risks."
Hoping for action
Another player who will be in contention for a starting role will be defender Paul McShane, who is available again after a three game ban.
"Paul will naturally come back into my mind. Fitness won't be a problem, Paul's kept himself ticking over in training and he'll be desperate to be involved in first-team football again," Keane said.
Further good news for the Black Cats is that Dwight Yorke is recovering well from a calf strain and may yet play some part on Saturday.