Sunderland have been boosted by the news that striker Kenwyne Jones should be back in training within two months.
The Trinidad and Tobago forward sustained a knee injury on international duty against England in June and there were fears he could be out until around Christmas.
But after undergoing an operation yesterday it now seems likely he will return to training by October.
Manager Roy Keane told the club's official website: 'He had his operation yesterday. Fortunately we've avoided major surgery and expect him back in training in the next six to eight weeks.
'You never know the full story until you go into the knee, that's why we've been open in terms of the prognosis.
'But it's great news for everyone at the club - Kenwyne is a big player for us.'