Sunderland have received a much-needed boost as manager Dick Advocaat confirmed Adam Johnson was set to return against Bournemouth.
Johnson has been sidelined since dislocating his shoulder in his side’s Premier League opener against Leicester City in August.
But the 28-year-old attacker is set to return on Saturday, although that is likely to come from the bench, while Duncan Watmore has been ruled out.
“Johnson is back in the squad because he was already running,” Advocaat said.
“Duncan came down ill on Wednesday night, so he’s out.”
Sunderland have just two points from their opening five league games to be sitting second-bottom, ahead of only Newcastle.
Advocaat said not to expect many changes to his team after the 1-0 loss to Tottenham.
“There’s not really a reason to change at Bournemouth – continuity and momentum are the most important things,” Advocaat said.