Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness ahead of the Barclays Premier League clash with Birmingham.
The Trinidad and Tobago international, who limped off at half-time against Manchester City last Sunday, has a chance of being involved after scans revealed no lasting damage to his hip flexor.
Andy Reid and Lee Cattermole (both hamstring) could also make it back into the squad, while the Black Cats will continue to monitor Boudewijn Zenden's knee problem.
Captain Lorik Cana will be missing again as he completes a two-match ban.
Boss Steve Bruce is urging his players to shake off the shackles of a relegation fight to set their sights on a top-10 finish.
"I would be very, very pleased with that if I could get it, and it would define our season because then we have got a chance of going above Blackburn, we have got a chance of catching Bolton and making a play of finishing in the top 10," he said.
"That's what we have got to try to achieve now. Can we try to stop looking over our shoulders - even though we still are, if I am being honest, we are still looking over.
"But that's got to be the aim, to finish off the season strongly. It won't be easy - we have got some big games coming up, either from the top end or the bottom end of the table."
Birmingham right-back Stuart Parnaby has shaken off an ankle problem and is available.
Parnaby suffered the setback during the 2-0 win at Portsmouth 10 days ago and was ruled out of the home draw with Everton last weekend but is now back in training.
He is likely to have to be content with a place on the substitutes' bench given the consistent form of captain Stephen Carr.
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has no fresh injury concerns as his side look to sustain their surprise push for a Europa League spot, but on-loan Sunderland player Teemu Tainio is ineligible to face his parent club.
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