Defender John O'Shea has handed Sunderland boss Gus Poyet a major boost by training ahead of Wednesday night's tough Barclays Premier League clash with Chelsea.
The Republic of Ireland international ended Saturday's 0-0 draw at Aston Villa with a groin problem, but appears to have recovered and is in line to retain his place.
However, keeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) and defender Carlos Cuellar (hip) remain on the injured list and will not be involved once again.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will be without Brazilian duo David Luiz and Oscar for the trip to Sunderland.
Luiz is still struggling with a knee injury while Oscar was forced off in Sunday's 3-1 win over Southampton with an ankle problem, although Mourinho is not expecting either player to be missing for too long.
Samuel Eto'o is back in contention following his groin injury with midfielder Marco van Ginkel (knee) the only long-term absentee.
Provisional Sunderland squad: Mannone, Pickford, Celustka, Dossena, Bardsley, O'Shea, Brown, Diakite, Roberge, Cattermole, Cabral, Gardner, Ki, Giaccherini, Johnson, Larsson, Ba, Karlsson, Mavrias, Fletcher, Altidore, Borini, Ji.
Provisional Chelsea squad: Cech, Schwarzer, Ivanonvic, Cole, Azpilicueta, Bertrand, Cahill, Terry, Mikel, Essien, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Schurrle, De Brunye, Hazard, Willian, Torres, Eto'o, Ba.