Sunderland boss David Moyes has revealed the knee injury sustained by Lamine Kone is not serious.
The 28-year-old twisted in knee in training at the Academy of Light on Thursday, ruling him out of the goalless draw with Burnley - a result that saw the gap to safety grow to seven points.
Sunderland have been rocked by injuries this season, with Victor Anichebe, Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff among those options not available to Moyes.
But the latest injury setback is not serious, with Kone expected to be fit for the busy month of April.
Kone's absence was a big blow at the heart of the Sunderland defence but his replacement Jason Denayer did well against Burnley on his return to the side.
Moyes explained: "On Thursday, just at the end of the session we were doing some heading practice and he just twisted his knee.
"We have had it scanned. There is nothing there. It looks more like days or a week rather than anything else.
"He was a big miss for us today, we knew what we were playing against up front. We needed his power, his pace, so it was certainly a big disadvantage for us.
"I hoped to have him back in days, maybe a week. I saw him yesterday and he was limping with it.
"We know there is no damage that needs any work."
Sunderland created more than enough chances to win the game, with Fabio Borini, Adnan Januzaj all seeing efforts saved or go narrowly wide, while Billy Jones missed a glorious chance
with a header six-yards out.
Sunderland had Jordan Pickford to thank for keeping them in it late on, the England Under-21 international getting down low to produce a superb save to deny Burnley striker Sam Vokes.
"We had the chances to win the game," said Moyes, who said his players gave it everything.
"It wasn't the prettiest game, that's for sure but we still made the opportunities which we have not had in recent games.
"I actually thought we made more chances than we did against Crystal Palace and we scored four that day - everything we hit went in.
"We created the chances against Burnley but didn't finish.
"There is no fault on the players, they tried to do everything they could."