Sunderland boss gives injury update ahead of Charlton Athletic opener
Tom Flanagan will miss Sunderland's opening league game but Jack Ross is hopeful that the injury is less serious than first feared.
Dylan McGeouch also remains a doubt after suffering with a tight calf in the abandoned pre-season friendly against Middlesbrough last week.
Ross said: "Tom picked up an injury in the early part of this week. We were actually concerned it was quite a serious one but it's settled down as the week has gone on. He'll miss the game on Saturday, we thought he'd be out for quite a considerable time period but it looks like it will be sooner rather than later. It looks like it will be a couple of weeks minimum.
"Dylan is still a doubt for Saturday, he hasn't been able to train. We'll assess it again on Friday. You want your best players available but is a long season."
Aiden McGeady remains absent after missing the entirety of pre-season, and Ross admits that he will be relying on some of the club's promising youngsters to complete his squad.
Jack Ross on Charlie Wyke and why he's still on the lookout for new signingsHe said: "At the moment, where we are with injuries, they'll all be around the matchday squad. We're light on numbers because of the injuries that we've picked up through pre-season. The confident things for me though is that several of them are there on merit anyway.
"Bali, in particular, has been involved in every pre-season game, has been excellent and trained really well.
Who gets the nod to start for Sunderland against Charlton? Our writers pick their starting XI"So while managers might bemoan the number of youngsters they have in their squad, that doesn't concern me because they have quality, they have ability. The demands change when you enter competitive football and that will be another test for them, and it'll be an opportunity for to see how they respond to that."