SUNDERLAND defender Wes Brown is back in the fold for this weekend’s visit of Stoke City.
Brown missed last Saturday’s stalemate against Swansea with a calf problem - leaving Sunderland boss Gus Poyet with just four fit defenders at his disposal.
But the former England international is available to face the Potters, as the Black Cats continue their search for a first Premier League victory of the campaign.
However, fellow centre-half Sebastian Coates remains on the treament table with a thigh injury, while midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini is a doubt after suffering an ankle problem at Burnley almost a fortnight ago.
Poyet told the Echo today: “Wes is back. Then we have a few knocks.
“We’re doing a few things today which will confirm an injury or not. Giaccy is one of those.
“Sebber Coates won’t be fit, but Wes is definitely back.”
Brown’s return will leave Poyet facing a dilemma over the make-up of his back four against the Potters.
Santiago Vergini thrived at centre-half alongside skipper John O’Shea last weekend after being moved from right-back, while Billy Jones was equally impressive in Brown’s place.
Poyet added: “I like that problem. You know me.
“I’d prefer to have everything alright during the week and then pick the team.
“I think know the team, but I like to wait until the last session sometimes.”