Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has been dealt a blow with the news that James McFadden has suffered a hamstring injury in training.
McFadden, 29, only recently joined the Black Cats on a short-term deal after he was released by Everton at the end of last season - with O'Neill commending the striker for his hard work over the last month.
"I don't know if we will see James in the team any time soon because on Thursday he pulled up with a hamstring," said O'Neill.
"I hope it is not too serious, but he was certainly feeling it. So that is a setback.
"It is a real shame because James has worked exceptionally hard on his fitness and was enjoying the training."
O'Neill also revealed that he has enjoyed having the Scottish striker in his squad and that he hopes the injury will not inhibit his ability to still make an impact on Wearside.
"We have enjoyed having him because he is a really fine lad. I think he wants to do well," O'Neill said.
"James has not accepted the length of the contract, but it was as much for him because I think he felt if he had not made an impact by the end of January, particularly with the number of games coming up, then he might need to look elsewhere.
"He needs to have a chance and I hope the hamstring is not too serious. You have to remember he did not play often for Everton last season.
"Incredibly one of his few games was against us, so he does need time to get up to speed and ready to play in the Premier League."