David Moyes has been handed a much-needed boost ahead of the trip to Manchester City with the return to training of Jermain Defoe.
Last season’s top scorer is back training at the Academy of Light after missing the last four pre-season games with a thigh strain.
Defoe travelled but didn’t feature in the three games in France and was left behind for the trip to Austria to face Borussia Dortmund.
The 33-year-old is back training and could now start against Manchester City on Saturday, although Defoe hasn’t played since the friendly win over Rotherham United.
Moyes’ options have been limited throughout pre-season through injury and a lack of options, with Sunderland only making their first signing after the final friendly game against Dortmund.
Jan Kirchhoff (hamstring) and Billy Jones (hip) and Seb Larsson remain the other injury concerns for Moyes ahead of the trip to the Etihad Stadium.
Meanwhile, former Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar remains on trial at the club as he looks to win a contract.
The 34-year-old South African international played under Moyes at former club Everton.
Pienaar didn’t travel to Austria for the draw with Borussia Dortmund but is training with the rest of the squad at the Academy of Light this week.
Moyes is looking to add to his midfield options.