Jack Ross hopes Charlie Wyke will return to the squad after Sunderland's game against Portsmouth later this month.
The striker, 26, has been out since the end of September after suffering a serious knee injury against Burton.
But Ross hopes the striker will return at the end of this year, after the Black Cats' trip to Fratton Park on December 22.
"With Charlie Wyke we are confident he will be back in the squad post the Portsmouth game," said Ross ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup replay against Walsall.
"We have got some concerns over two or three and will make a late decision on them."
Ross confirmed defender Adam Matthews, 26, will miss the Walsall clash after picking up a knock against Accrington Stanley last weekend - but the injury isn't as bad as first feared.
The 26-year-old full-back was involved in a nasty collision at the Wham Stadium but Ross revealed the injury isn't as bad as first feared.
"He'll be unavailable tomorrow but it's not too bad," said Ross when asked about the defender.
"It's certainly better than we envisaged initially when he came off but there's no point taking unnecessary risks with him.
"We have a number of important league games that will come up after this cup replay tomorrow night."
Ross also revealed that Lee Cattermole and Duncan Watmore will be in the squad for the Walsall fixture.