Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is ready to hand David Healy a surprise chance against Wigan.
Darren Bent will learn later this week whether he faces a maximum of three weeks on the sidelines with Bruce admitting his nine-goal forward is a "doubt" for the trip to the DW Stadium.
Bruce said: "If Darren Bent goes down, David will get his chance.
"He is the ultimate pro, I have huge respect for him and he has a part to play for me here.
"Maybe he would benefit from playing alongside Kenwyne Jones. David is part of my squad, but he has Darren to contend with.
"I can understand Nigel Worthington. Every international manager would like to see their players play regularly at club level, and David would admit that himself.
"I can only do what is best for the club and David is finding it hard to get through at the moment. It will be difficult for him but you do need a squad of players."