Cattermole ruled out for two months
Lee Cattermole will be out for the next two months after suffering medial ligament damage.
The Black Cat's skipper, 24, was initially injured against West Bromwich Albion in November, but made a surprise return against Queens Park Rangers.
After being withdrawn just six minutes in, the former Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough enforcer will now be out of action for two months.
Seb Larsson filled in the centre of midfield alongside Craig Gardner at Norwich City, but Martin O'Neill has further options in Jack Colback and David Vaughan.
Sunderland will play 11 fixtures whilst Cattermole is injured.