Sunderland return to Championship action with the long trip to Plymouth Argyle next weekend.
Tony Mowbray will be able to welcome back a couple of key players for the game, while the injury situation continues to ease following an at times difficult start to the campaign.
So what's the latest on the injury and team news front, who will be missing next weekend and who could yet feature? And when are those absent likely to return? Here’s everything you need to know..
1. DENNIS CIRKIN
Cirkin was set to make a return to the starting XI against Birmingham City but was withdrawn after feeling some discomfort in the warm up.
"He trained yesterday and said that he felt it after training," Tony Mowbray said afterwards. "When he woke up this morning it felt fine, good - so we decided to push on.
"He then went and did the warm up and said he could feel it again, so we didn't want to risk it again. He'll go and have a scan tomorrow and we'll see what it is."
Sunderland's hope is that their caution will have prevent Cirkin aggravating the issue and that the international break will allow him to rebuild his fitness. Is obviously a major doubt for Plymouth, and the form of Hume and Huggins means a start would have been unlikely anyway.
Mowbray would like him as a bench option if possible, though. Potential return date: Plymouth Argyle (A) November 25th Photo: Frank Reid
2. DAN BALLARD
Having served his one-game suspension against Birmingham City, Ballard is available for the trip to Plymouth and will almost certainly return to the starting XI.
That is of course dependent on him coming through international duty unscathed - he is currently away with North Ireland and could captain the side. Return date: Plymouth Argyle (A) November 25th Photo: Frank Reid
3. LUKE O'NIEN
O'Nien is available again after suspension and will take his place alongside Dan Ballard at the heart of defence. Return date: Plymouth Argyle (A) November 24th Photo: Frank Reid
4. AJI ALESE
Mowbray revealed before the win over Birmingham his hope that Alese would be relatively close to rejoining full training by the end of the international break.
"Aji Alese is probably two or three weeks away from being back in full training and competing [for a place]," Mowbray said.
"He's probably going to need some game time with the U21s first."
Given the length of his absence, it seems unlikely that he will be ready for Championship action this month but will hopefully be able to bolster the squad for the festive period. Potential return date: West Brom (H) December 9th Photo: Frank Reid