Sunderland starlet Jack Colback could get the chance to prove himself to manager Steve Bruce in the final game of the Barclays Premier League season on Sunday.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been drafted into the squad for the trip to Wolves after a hugely successful loan spell at Coca-Cola Championship Ipswich.
Bruce has seen Jordan Henderson and Meyler emerge from the ranks this season, and is hoping Colback and striker Martyn Waghorn, who has also spent the campaign on loan in the Championship, at Leicester, can follow in their footsteps.
He said: "It will be a big time for Waghorn and a big time for Colback. They have done really well in the Championship. Can they make the step up like Meyler and Henderson?"
Academy graduate Colback returned to the club on Wednesday as it was confirmed that David Meyler could be sidelined for a year by a knee ligament injury and hours before Lee Cattermole suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder in training.
That will leave Bruce short of bodies in midfield for the weekend, and that could give Colback an opportunity to demonstrate what he has learnt at Portman Road, where he was voted Players' Player of the Year.
Sunderland will head for Wolves knowing victory at Molineux could secure a top 10 finish, but also aware that even that might not be enough.
Stoke, who head for title-chasing Manchester United on Sunday, climbed into 10th place as a result of their 1-0 win at Fulham last night and are three points better off than the Wearsiders, as are 11th-placed Blackburn, who make the trip to Aston Villa.
Fulham in 12th have two points more than the Black Cats, but also face a difficult away game at Arsenal.
However, Sunderland cannot finish any lower than the 13th place they currently occupy, and that would represent a significant improvement on 15th and 16th respectively in the last two seasons.
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