Black Cats skipper Lee Cattermole and record signing Asamoah Gyan are major doubts for the visit of Rovers.
Midfielder Cattermole is struggling once again with a back-related hamstring problem which hampered last season, while Gyan suffered a hamstring injury during Tuesday's 2-0 home defeat by Blackpool.
Defender Nedum Onuoha is likely to miss out with a similar problem, but Titus Bramble, who played almost an hour of Tuesday's game as a substitute, is available after getting further action under his belt in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Gateshead on Thursday, while Danny Welbeck (neck) is also expected to be fit.
John Mensah (ankle) remains a week away from a return, but Michael Turner and Fraizer Campbell (both knee) are still on the casualty list.
Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson is set to be sidelined for the next three weeks after aggravating a calf injury in his side's 3-1 win at West Brom on Tuesday.
The former England number one had to be replaced by Mark Bunn at the Hawthorns and will miss the game against the Black Cats as well as the upcoming clashes with Liverpool, QPR and Chelsea.
Striker Nikola Kalinic and full-back Michel Salgado are suspended, while manager Steve Kean will give Christopher Samba a fitness test following an ankle problem.
Sunderland (from): Gordon, Mignolet, Bardsley, Richardson, Angeleri, Ferdinand, Bramble, Da Silva, Cattermole, Meyler, Riveros, Henderson, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Welbeck, Zenden, Bent, Gyan, Adams, Cook, Reed.
Blackburn (from): Bunn, Nelsen, Samba, Givet, Olsson, Emerton, Pedersen, Linganzi, E-H Diouf, Dunn, Benjani, Hoilett, MB Diouf, Doran, Morris, Hanley, Lowe, Potts, Fielding.