Sunderland manager Steve Bruce fears defender Titus Bramble's season could be over due to a knee injury.
The club announced on their website ahead of their 5-0 defeat at Manchester City that Bramble would miss the game after suffering cartilage damage, although it is not yet clear whether it is a recurrence of the problem the 29-year-old had surgery for earlier in the campaign.
Speaking after the 5-0 defeat at Eastlands, Bruce said: "Bramble had an operation a few months ago and he has never felt quite comfortable. He had a scan the other day and he could miss the rest of the season."
Bruce added: "We've been told (he needs) complete rest at the moment."
Another knee injury victim Fraizer Campbell, who has not made a first-team appearance for the Black Cats since August, had been expected to feature in the squad to face City but was also ruled out after suffering a late setback.
Bruce said: "Fraizer Campbell twisted his knee in training and he will have a scan.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed that it is not a recurrence of the knee injury that he had in August."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.