Roy Keane has confirmed Sunday's game against Manchester City will come too soon for Anton Ferdinand to make his debut.
The central defender completed his big money move to the North East from West Ham this week but will have to wait until after the forthcoming international break to make his Black Cats bow.
Ferdinand has met up with his new team-mates but is currently struggling with a minor hamstring complaint and will not be available for the weekend.
"He won't be involved. We're hoping he'll be training in the next few days but I wouldn't just throw him in," Keane told Sky Sports News.
"We've got a two week international break coming up so he'll have two weeks under his belt before the game at Wigan.
"He's got a slight hamstring but he's trained in the last few days - so we just have to be careful."
On the look-out
Keane remains hopeful Ferdinand will not be his last acquisition before the transfer window closes on 1st September, whilst acknowledging he would like to shed his squad of those on the periphery of his first team.
"I'm still hopeful we can add one more player, I'm hopeful a deal can be done.
"Sometimes it's out of my hands. I've got one or two messages from other managers and we'll see how that pans out.
"I think some of the lads coming back from injury could do with going out and getting some games."