WES Brown has suffered injury in training which will delay his return to first-team action further.
The 32-year-old former Manchester United and England international has been out since the end of January when he re-aggravated a strained calf initially picked up during Sunderland’s New Year’s Day game against Manchester City.
The centre-half got through just 26 minutes of the game against the Blues before being replaced by Matt Kilgallon.
He returned to play the full 90 minutes against Swansea in the 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light but lasted only an hour in the FA Cup replay against Middlesbrough before having to be replaced.
Brown had been on course for a return to first-team availability sometime at the start of this month but that schedule has now been revised.
O’Neill told SportMail: “Wes is doing well but he got a bit of a setback on thecalf problem.
“He went down to do some work and strained himself.
“I think he’s done that before in the self-same calf when he was close to fitness before.
“So he’s just a wee bit frustrated at the moment.
“But he’s doing fine and I think his knee is getting more solid now.”