Last Updated: Tue, 11 Dec 2012 08:27
Martin O'Neill will hand a late fitness test to top striker Steven Fletcher ahead of the crucial clash with Reading on Tuesday.
The Black Cats currently sit in the bottom three in the table but could leapfrog Wigan and Aston Villa if they beat fellow strugglers Reading at the Stadium of Light.
Top scorer Fletcher has an ankle injury which kept him out of the clash with Chelsea and, although he is making progress, he is not expected to be fit.
Sunderland will also be without skipper Lee Cattermole who has knee ligament damage and will not be back until well into the New Year.
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