Adam Matthews won’t feature when Sunderland host Walsall on Tuesday evening.
The Welshman was forced off at Accrington Stanley after just 22 minutes, and Jack Ross admits playing the right-back would be an unnecessary risk ahead of a gruelling festive schedule.
Duncan Watmore will return to the squad, though, having missed the trip to the Wham Stadium after making his comeback last week in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Speaking to safc.com, the Sunderland boss provided the latest news from within the camp.
“Adam will be unavailable for tomorrow,” said Ross.
“It’s not too bad, and certainly better than we envisaged at the time when he came off, but there is no point in taking an unnecessary risk when we have important league games coming up.”
He continued: “Duncan will be back in the squad for the game.
“We had always planned that – even prior to the Checkatrade Trophy game – and it was a rotation to have him involved, then miss the weekend’s game and return for Walsall.
“We have Bristol Rovers on Saturday followed by Portsmouth, and then it’s a really busy schedule.
“You have to try and plan ahead as much as you can, while also being respectful of the challenge you face immediately, so we will again use our squad tomorrow night with Saturday in mind.”