Sunderland have received a huge fitness boost with the news that Charlie Wyke is ahead of schedule on his comeback from injury.
The Black Cats' biggest summer signing has yet to make his debut for the club after his switch from Bradford City.
But the 25-year-old will step up his training next week, with Ross saying the player is ahead of schedule and could have an outside chance of being available for the game against Oxford United on September 2.
And with Sunderland struggling to bring in another forward on loan, it may be that they decide they don't need an extra attacker with Wyke close to returning.
The Middlesbrough-born frontman will add extra depth to Jack Ross' strikeforce, with Josh Maja having led the line in his absence, with loan man Jerome Sinclair and Duncan Watmore also on the the sidelines.
“It might be that the Oxford game comes too quickly, but there might be an outside opportunity of him being involved around that time,” said Ross.
“What we’ve managed to do is knock off these fixtures and gain positive results without his presence and hopefully we can do that across the rest of the week and by the time we play Oxford we might have him back.”
Wyke’s return could mean Sunderland shelve plans to sign another striker, though Ross is still keen on having four frontmen at his disposal for the promotion push.
However, any incomings may be dependent on Sunderland getting some of their high-earners off the wage bill with the likes of Pay Djilobodji, Didier Ndong, Lee Cattermole and Bryan Oviedo still at the club.
One player who won't be joining Sunderland is Polish striker Kacper Przybylko. The former Kaiserslauten striker was on trial at the Academy of Light, but didn't do enough to earn a permanent deal and has since joined German club FC Magdeburg on trial until the end of the week.