Martin O'Neill has revealed that star winger Adam Johnson seems to have a good chance of playing this weekend against Liverpool having returned to Wearside late last week having picked up a knock on England duty.
Johnson pulled out of the squad to play Moldova and Ukraine, but is progressing well as he looks to make a second league start for the club when the Scousers visit the Stadium Of Light on Saturday. O'Neill told the club's official website today;
Adam is progressing quite nicely, which is good, but I don't know yet. He's done some work with a couple of the other injured players, including Phil Bardsley and Wes Brown.
It's too early to know whether he'll be available but it would be great if he could make it.
It would be a huge boon to have Johnson available for the Liverpool game. If not there could be a change in position again for Seb Larsson to wide right, or Fraizer Campbell could come in. The left-field (or should that be right field in this instance) choice would be starting Louis Saha in a flat 4-4-2 formation.
O'Neill also provided update on the fitness of Phil Bardsley and Wes Brown, but neither of the long-term injury victims are likely to be available this week or the next, as the gaffer explained to the Sunderland Echo;
It's really early to say how long they'll be out for yet, but Phil's chomping at the bit, he wants to get going.
Wes has been pretty down about his injuries, but he sees the light at the end of the tunnel now which is great. He just wants to play and that's a great attitude to have.
Seems like neither are close to making a comeback, although thankfully we're not in a position where we need to rush them due to the good form of others in the positions.
David Vaughan has also hit the comeback trail, playing 45 minutes for the Development Squad away at Spurs last week, and also making an appearance in Wales' 6-1 shellacking by Serbia the other night.