Sunderland will be without Aiden McGeady and Max Power for at least their opening two friendlies this term.
Jack Ross’ players will get their first match minutes this evening at South Shields before returning to more familiar surroundings at the Academy of Light for Saturday’s behind-closed-doors in-house game.
However, the Black Cats boss has revealed he will be without Republic of Ireland man McGeady, who remains sidelined with a fractured bone in his foot that was sustained in April.
Power, meanwhile, is a doubt for the start of the new season after being forced off inside the opening few minutes of the Black Cats’ Play-Off Final against Charlton Athletic in May.
Speaking to local media ahead of tonight’s trip to Mariners Park, kick-off 7:30pm, Ross provided an update on the duo’s current situation.
"Aiden will hopefully be able to train at some point in pre-season but at the moment he is still a couple of weeks away from joining in full training,” he said.
"He'll miss Thursday and Saturday.
"The earliest he could potentially be involved would be Portugal but even then, it might be too soon.
"Aiden didn't play until September last year.
"Hopefully he'll be back sooner than last season and even that would be a bonus."
He continued: "Max Power will probably struggle to make the start of the season.
"He got quite a nasty injury actually, an ankle injury that takes quite a long time to heal.
"Max is in really good condition and looks after himself really well, it's just that the injury takes time to settle.
"He's possibly another three or four weeks away."