Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is keeping his fingers crossed as he awaits news on Titus Bramble's knee injury.
The 29-year-old missed Monday night's Barclays Premier League draw with Everton after damaging a meniscus cartilage during the 3-0 victory at Chelsea last weekend.
Medical staff were assessing the extent of the problem on Tuesday, although if their worst fears are confirmed Bramble will need an operation which would sideline him for up to eight weeks.
Speaking after Monday night's game, Bruce said: "It doesn't look good. He tweaked it against Chelsea last week and he hasn't been able to train all week.
He will try again tomorrow (Tuesday), but we have had scans and it does look as if he might need an operation which will rule him out for the best part of six, eight weeks."
He added: "That would be a big, big loss because he has been immense. One of the reasons we have kept so many clean sheets has been the performances of Titus, but there you have it."
Bramble arrived at the Stadium of Light from Wigan during the summer for a fee understood to be in the region of £1million to a mixed response after a difficult spell at Newcastle earlier in his career.
However, he has proved a big hit under the manager he served so well during his own spell with the Latics.
He had missed only one league game prior to the Everton match, sitting out the 2-0 victory over Stoke through suspension following his sending off for two bookable offences at Newcastle, and has contributed to six of the club's seven clean sheets in all competitions.
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