Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will be able to call on defender John Mensah for the clash with basement boys West Ham.
The Ghanaian returned ahead of schedule from a dislocated shoulder at Wolves last week but was forced off eight minutes from time after receiving a blow to the joint.
Mensah’s availability is particularly good news for Bruce because of long-term injuries to centre-back pair Titus Bramble and Michael Turner (both knee).
Fraizer Campbell also remains on the sidelines but midfielder David Meyler is in contention for the first time this season after recovering from a serious knee injury.
West Ham skipper Scott Parker will return for Sunday’s clash on Wearside.
Parker has been struggling with a chest infection and watched the 4-0 Carling Cup victory over Manchester United in midweek from the bench.
Avram Grant must decide whether to retain Parker’s goalscoring replacement against United, Jonathan Spector, while cup-tied defender Lars Jacobsen returns.
Sunderland (from): Gordon, Mignolet, Onuoha, Bardsley, Richardson, Angeleri, Ferdinand, Mensah, Da Silva, Cattermole, Riveros, Henderson, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Zenden, Bent, Gyan, Welbeck, Meyler, Adams.
West Ham (from): Green, Gabbidon, Reid, Upson, Tomkins, Kovac, Behrami, Barrera, Jacobsen, Stanislas, Piquionne, Cole, Obinna, Stech, Spector, Boa Morte, Hines, McCarthy, Ben Haim, Faubert, Ilunga, Dyer, Parker.