The former Manchester United player has not played a competitive game for over 18 months but Paolo Di Canio did want to try and get him some minutes on the field against Arsenal.
Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, Di Canio said: "I wanted to send him on the field, but he wasn't ready.
"I brought him with me on the bench to let him smell the atmosphere again. It was important for him and for us. But he had a little problem in his calf muscle.
"At the end of the game, we didn't need a defender. I asked Wes how he felt, but, to be honest, he wasn't completely confident."
Sunderland travel to West Brom on Saturday in the Premier League, with both teams looking for a first win of the season.