Former Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole could feature for them against West Bromwich Albion this weekend, Paolo Di Canio has confirmed.
Di Canio had not hidden the fact that former Middlesbrough star Cattermole was not in his long-term plans.
But after confirming last week that he would be given the chance to stake a claim for a first-team spot, the 25-year-old is now back in contention for the Premier League match at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
"Is it too soon to travel with the squad to West Brom? No," Di Canio told the Sunderland Echo.
"He will come with us and when I take the players with me to travel to the game, they go under the assumption that any one of them can play straight away.
"They might play from the start, or they might come on as a substitute, but if you travel you have a chance of playing, and he will be in the squad.
"I will make a final decision on the first team on Friday."
Mainly due to injury Cattermole has not played since February for Sunderland, but Di Canio is ready to use him after their poor start to the season - which sees them sitting bottom of the table after four games.
"We all know what might have happened with Lee during the transfer window and that's why he wasn't really included in our plans," said Di Canio.
"But, at the end of the day, when he doesn't move, you don't just stick him in a corner and say he's not our player.
"It's important you use the squad available to you if you can and to be fair to him, he has shown character.
"I am not prejudiced in this respect.
"It was the same with Wes Brown - he's a fine centre-half who I wanted to move on from, but he was absolutely determined to prove me wrong and he came back in pre-season to really impress me and was on the bench last week.
"Lee has shown real desire too. He hasn't just come back in to suffer, he has embraced it enthusiastically and that is important.
"If you are intelligent and you buy into it, you have a chance and now Lee has a chance."
Meanwhile, Di Canio has also confirmed that Italy international Emanuele Giaccherini is also back in the squad following a hamstring problem - but he is far from certain to be selected ahead of Greek Charis Mavrias.
"Giaccherini is fit and at the moment it's not a question (whether he'll come back in). He needs to play but we know with Mavrias, he's played one game and he can come off the bench and do well, and then we have Tuesday," he saod.
"We have to be sensible because in this area we have two very good players and I'm happy for that."