Simon Grayson provides injury update on trio Lewis Grabban, Josh Maja and Paddy McNair
Lewis Grabban is close to a Sunderland first-team return, according to boss Simon Grayson.
The forward has been out of the picture for a month since injuring his hamstring.
But with QPR in town on Saturday, Grayson refused to rule the Bournemouth loanee out.
Although, he says the game will come around too soon for defender Paddy McNair, who made a goalscoring return for the Under-23s against Hertha Berlin in the week.
"Grabban not too far away," said Grayson, who also revealed that Josh Maja is back training with the main group.
"With Paddy he is going to be a bit longer because of the time he has been out.
"Paddy will play at Arsenal (for the Under-23s) on Monday. That will help him.
"We have Maja back and (Duncan) Watmore, too.
"Players we are getting back are going to strengthen our squad."
Duncan Watmore returned to action last time out at Preston, getting the final 26 minutes of the 2-2 draw, after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Grayson admits any side would miss a player of the quality of England Under-21 forward Watmore.
But he says it has been a big bonus having him in and around the first-team group again.
"It is a big lift for everyone," said the manager.
"It is a big lift for him being out 10 months.
"A player of the quality of Duncan coming back on to the training pitch gave everyone a boost.
"Good quality players are missed and we have missed a few of them in recent weeks."