Sunderland have not taken a risk with Victor Anichebe for tonight's Premier League 2 fixture against Derby County at the Stadium of Light.
There was speculation the powerful striker may get some game-time ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to West Ham United.
Anichebe played the final 10 minutes of Sunderland's 2-0 defeat at Stoke City in the Premier League but boss David Moyes admitted in the Echo that he is still some way short of starting a top flight game.
“Victor has been back training over the international break, I don’t think he was ready to start," said Moyes. “Victor has been back training over the international break, I don’t think he was ready to start.
“Ideally, I would like to give Victor a reserve game, depending on numbers. I need some seniority in the first team squad, even coming off the bench. We need that.”
But given the length of the injury list and the lack of forward options, Moyes has clearly decided against risking the 28-year-old.
First-team squad men Mika, Donald Love, Joel Asoro, and Lynden Gooch were named in Andy Welch's side against the Rams.
Sunderland U23: Mika, J Robson, T Robson, Love, Beadling, Brady, Honeyman, E Robson, Gooch, Greenwood, Asoro.
Subs: Stryjek, Moilyneux, Wright, Embleton, Maja
Derby County: Mitchell, Stabana, McDonald, Guy, Cover, Lelan, Gordon, Vernam, Jakobsen, Babos, Bennett.
Subs: Walker, Ravas, Bateman, Edwards, Bogle.
Referee: D Richardson