The Black Cats face Charlton in their season opener, and could be handed a boost as the Addicks continue to be gripped by an injury crisis.
And following their most recent friendly against Crawley, Lee Bowyer's side look to be without FIVE key players for their trip to the Stadium of Light.
LIVE: Transfer latest from Sunderland - including updates on two strikers and a midfielderWinger Tariq Fosu, a standout performer last season, limped off during the pre-season victory as hamstring troubles came back to haunt the youngster after he suffered similar issues last year.
Fosu now joins Igor Vetokele, Billy Clarke and Ben Reeves on the treatment table with under two weeks remaining before the season kicks-off.
It is thought that all four will be major doubts for the clash at the Stadium of Light - which could provide a boost to Jack Ross' side.
There are also question marks over the experienced Darren Pratley, who joined on a free transfer this summer.
MORE: In-depth analysis of Sunderland's 6-0 win over St MirrenPratley is still not fully match fit and it is uncertain whether he will be ready for the trip to Wearside.
Bowyer will be hopeful of new recruits before then but, with off-field uncertainty taking centre stage at the Valley, that could be easier said than done.