Sunderland boss Steve Bruce believes Simon Mignolet will be out for a couple of months, while backing Keiren Westwood to step up.
First-choice shot-stopper Mignolet suffered a severe fracture of his nose and eye socket in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.
He now faces an extended spell on the sidelines and former Coventry goalkeeper Westwood, who replaced Mignolet at Villa Park, is set to make his first Premier League start against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Bruce is confident Westwood can prove his worth in the games to come.
He said: "Rather than a couple of weeks, it will be a couple of months. The broken nose is as bad as I've ever seen and he's fractured the eye socket as well.
"That's the reason why I brought in a goalkeeper of Keiren Westwood's ability.
"He's waited patiently for his chance, he's done extremely well on Saturday and he's waited a long time to play in the Premier League.
"Here's his big opportunity and I think it he'll grasp it."