Sunderland will look to use the international break to get Victor Anichebe closer to a Premier League return.
The powerhouse striker has made only a fleeting appearance in the red and white stripes since joining the Black Cats last month.
Anichebe played the dying minutes of the painful 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace after coming on as a sub for Adnan Januzaj in the 86th minute.
But hopes of seeing the 28-year-old against his former club, West Brom, in the last Premier League outing were dashed because of a niggle in his groin.
With the Black Cats not back on the field for another eight days, boss David Moyes will hope to get him ready for some sort of role, especially given the shortage of advanced players.
When they took on the Baggies, there were no forwards on the bench, a situation Moyes will be keen to address. .
Sunderland’s next two games are both away trips, at Stoke City and West Ham, each of whom are bottom-three ‘neighbours’.
Moyes admits that the giant Nigerian, a key player for him during his time in charge of Everton, has arrived on Wearside with a mixed recent fitness record. But he says he’s worth a punt given he arrived after the transfer deadline as a free agent.
“In the game against Palace, he jumped and landed and felt his groin a little bit,” explained Moyes.
“But this was always the risk with Victor.
“He had injury problems at West Brom and didn’t play all of the games.
“We have brought him in, given him a chance to prove himself and I think he will.”
Anichebe only played 14 times last season, without troubling the scorers, though he scored six in 25 in his previous campaign with the Baggies.
But, despite his goal and fitness records, the Scouse-bred striker offers something different for Moyes.
In fact, he offers something full stop, given the dearth of strikers at the Stadium of Light.
“I need him back,” said Moyes with his typical honesty.
“We are limited in who can play, limited in who we can bring off the bench if we are struggling and trying to find a way of changing things.”