Jordan Pickford is back in training at Sunderland but he won't be involved against Southampton tomorrow.
Pickford had been in stunning form for Sunderland after breaking into the first team until he picked up a knee injury in the Boxing Day defeat to Manchester United.
The England Under-21 international was initially ruled out for six to eight weeks but Washington-born Pickford has been working hard and has now returned to full training at the Academy of Light.
But manager David Moyes has revealed the club's medical staff are keen for Pickford to complete the time the surgeon originally said for his recovery so he won't be rushed back.
Washington-born Pickford's return is likely to come against Everton at Goodison Park at the end of February.
Sunderland host Southampton tomorrow but Vito Mannone, who has kept back-to-back clean sheets, will remain between the sticks.
Moyes, speaking at his pre-match press conference, said: "Jordan is back but the medical team want him to complete the time the surgeon said for his recovery.
"He won't be involved."
Sunderland head into the game full of confidence after the stunning 4-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend.
And while Moyes is keeping his feet on the ground, he wants to see his side build on the impressive victory when they host Southampton at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.
Moyes said: "We had a great result last weekend and the players showed everyone what they could do. It was a great team performance.
"I've sensed that we want the next game. I hope that proves to be right but we have to play well. Lets continue it.
"We're in a good mood but we have a long way to go. The players have shown the standard they can play at.
"We've been in this position before and we've not done it so we need to do it this time. We have to be positive and win."