Lee Johnson gives full injury updates on Bailey Wright, Tom Flanagan, Josh Scowen and Oliver Younger
Lee Johnson says Bailey Wright has a '50/50' chance of being available for Sunderland's trip to Burton Albion this weekend.
Wright was substituted at half-time in Sunderland's Papa John's Trophy semi-final win over Lincoln City with a calf problem, leaving Johnson without a recognised centre-half.
Luke O'Nien and Conor McLaughlin deputised well in his absence, and though Dion Sanderson is available again after being cup tied, one of the two could continue in the role should Wright miss out.
"I thought Luke and Conor were brilliant, it was against one up top of course and we had a lot of the ball," Johnson said.
"Luke took to the role excellently and actually gave us an attacking threat in terms of bringing the ball out from the back.
"Conor is still nursing the back end of his injury in terms of that hernia operation, so he did a great job for the team and showed his warrior spirit, which I was pleased with.
"We've got Dion to come back now and Bailey is probably 50/50 for the weekend."
Oliver Younger and Tom Flanagan are both also currently sidelined, but could come back into contention towards the end of next week when the Black Cats visit Crewe Alexandra.
Johnson will not take any risks with Flanagan, who is going to be a crucial player over the next three months given the fixture schedule that the Black Cats are facing.
"Oliver Younger should be looking to train on Monday or Tuesday," Johnson said.
"Tom Flanagan will likely be a little bit later. He's OK, he's feeling good but it's just a case of, if he is out running on the grass on Monday then I'll be happy.
"Then obviously to be really available for team selection he's probably got to have three or four good days training and be really confident in himself, because at the end of the day he's going to be important for us moving into the rest of the season."
Josh Scowen is also an injury doubt for the trip to Burton, after being replaced on Wednesday evening with a minor hamstring issue.
It's an area of the pitch where Johnson is comfortable he has a number of options if needed.
"Josh felt a tightness in his hamstring, he wanted to play on but we just looked at the big picture," Johnson said.
"We had players chomping at the bit [to get on] and we also needed a goal, it was just an ideal opportunity to give Chris Maguire his shot and just have a couple more offensive players in those positions.
"I couldn't give you a % in terms of Josh's chances for Saturday at the moment, because there's no defined answer on whether it's grade one, two, three or just literally almost like a cramp.
"The positive is we've got a lot who can play in that position.
"Carl Winchester is back, you've seen me play two number tens in those roles, so it's not too much of a worry if we need to rest him this weekend or bring him in from the bench."