Di Canio feels Brown still has a part to play on Wearside and the defender is happy to be involved.
Brown said: "Through pre-season I've been pretty fit so it was just a matter of showing determination and getting back in with the lads.
"I'm probably the oldest in the team so I hope I've got a lot of respect from the younger lads. I've been there and done it so the younger ones do look up to me and John O'Shea for certain things.
"If I can train hard and show them what it's all about, then that's got to be a good thing."