Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill is waiting on the fitness of winger Adam Johnson ahead of this weekend's game against Liverpool.
The former Manchester City man picked up an injury while away on international duty with England and returned to Wearside for treatment.
Johnson will be re-assessed in the build-up to the game according to O'Neill, who will oversee final match preparations today.
The bulk of the Sunderland squad have been away with their respective countries but have now reconvened back at the Academy of Light.
Those left behind have had a game-less two weeks to work on their fitness, most notably Steven Fletcher who scored twice on his league debut last time out.
"From that viewpoint [the break] was good and he'll have benefitted from that," O'Neill said in midweek.
"I think he'll say that he's needed it so that's good news. Every bit of extra work Steven can do between now and, let's say, the end of the month, will stand him in good stead."
Sunderland are unbeaten so far this season, with league draws at Arsenal and Swansea combined with a win over Morecambe in the Capital One Cup.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are looking for their first league win of the season having lost two and drawn one of their three top-flight games so far.
An opening-day trip to West Brom ended in a 3-0 defeat while a home clash with Manchester City finished 2-2.
Arsenal won 2-0 at Anfield last time out but Sunderland's O'Neill has rebuffed criticism of the Reds' start to the season.
"Liverpool are just settling down," he said. "They've seemingly had their worst start to the season in a number of years, but it's over-exaggerated as always.
"After 11 or 12 games you'll start to see a picture developing in the league itself, never mind Liverpool, and then you can follow some sort of trend."
Saturday's game will be the 159th competitive fixture between the two sides, with Liverpool holding the advantage with 72 wins compared to 52 for Sunderland. A further 34 games have ended all square.
Sunderland have won two of the last three games between the two sides at the Stadium of Light, both by a 1-0 scoreline.
- Liverpool have the worst conversion rate in the Barclays Premier League this season, scoring with just 5.6% of attempts and the lowest shooting accuracy, hitting the target with just 25% of shots.
- Sunderland, on the other hand, can boast the best conversion rate in the top flight this season having converted 33.33% of their shots so far.
- Liverpool have kept only two clean sheets in their last 17 Barclays Premier League games.
- The Reds have drawn 99 games away from home in the Barclays Premier League.
- Martin O'Neill has coached a team 17 times against Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League, winning six, drawing six and losing five.
- Since the start of last season, Steven Fletcher has scored more headed goals (seven) than any other Barclays Premier League player (Peter Crouch, 6).