David Moyes on mounting injury concern at Sunderland
The Ivory Coast international picked up the hamstring injury on international duty and is a major doubt for the trip to Stoke City tomorrow, with Moyes set to assess him later today.
It is the latest in the long line of injuries for Sunderland, with Vito Mannone (elbow), Seb Larsson (knee), Jan Kirchhoff (hamstring), Lee Cattermole (back) and Adnan Januzaj (ankle) all out injured.
Manchester City loanee Jason Denayer is also out of the trip to Stoke but Victor Anichebe and Steven Pienaar are set to return to the squad.
The 21-year-old picked up the adductor muscle problem playing for Belgium's Under-21 side in Montenegro last Friday, coming off after just 33 minutes of the Under-21 European Championship qualifier.
Moyes has revealed his injury is not as bad as first thought though, with the versatile defender likely to be out for one to two weeks rather than the month feared initially.
But the mounting injury problems are a major concern for Moyes.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Moyes said: "The one thing I have to say is that all the injures we are getting are getting picked up in games.
"Does that make it any better? No. But it is not as if we are running them too hard and doing too much in training.
"It is the opposite. We are getting them all in games, I think Vito Mannone was the only one we didn't get in a game.
"We just have to live with it. Every football club gets injuries. We are getting our fair share of them at the moment.
"We have lost a few players long-term, people like Seb Larsson was probably carrying an injury from the Euros.
"It sounds like Lee Cattermole has been carrying an injury for a year or so.
"Two players back from international duty are doubts, Lamine Kone and Jason Denayer. There is very little you can do about that.
"Lamine finished the game, though, and that’s why I don’t want to totally rule him out.
"I always tend to think that if you finish the game, you’re not too bad, so we’ll wait and see where he is before making a decision.
"At the moment we are losing two or three players a game and that is a real problem.
"People mention us having to change the team but it is down to injuries as much as anything.
"We have been able to give younger players games though, as a result.
"Jordan Pickford and Lynden Gooch have done well, so there are some good things to come out of it."
Cattermole, meanwhile, has had an injection in his hip in a bid to cure a long-standing back injury. There is no date yet for when he might return to action.
On Denayer, Moyes added: "I don't think it as bad as we first thought. It is an adductor injury, it will more than likely keep him out at Stoke but I think it is more likely one to two weeks.
"With Lee, there seems to be something that we haven't got to the bottom of, just yet.
"The big thing is long-term injuries. Fabio Borini, for example, kicks the ground at Southampton and needed an operation.
"Catts has really missed the bulk of pre-season. Seb has missed most of it. Hopefully Steven Pienaar could make the squad tomorrow coming back from a hamstring.
"That would be a lift to get him back. He has kept the ball for us, can we get him back playing regularly."
Striker Victor Anichebe is set to be in the squad though after he returned to full training over the international break after a groin injury picked up against Crystal Palace.