Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is keeping his fingers crossed after defender Michael Turner suffered a setback on his return from injury.
The 27-year-old was on Thursday visiting a specialist after complaining of pain in the knee he injured against Everton in November, and Bruce had hoped to have him back at his disposal in a few weeks' time. But as he prepares for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Everton, the manager is sweating on the outcome of fresh tests.
Bruce told the Sunderland Echo: "Michael is going in for a scan so that we can find out exactly what the problem is. It is pointless speculating on what might or might not be wrong - we will just wait for the results and take it from there."
He added: "The specialist will use a keyhole camera to look inside, and we are keeping our fingers crossed it's nothing serious.
"But Michael is as tough a footballer as you will find, so for him to pull up and say he wasn't happy with it tells you something.
"He will play through the pain barrier every time, so it's clearly a niggle which has him worried - and it's a tricky one because it was the posterior knee ligaments he damaged originally and even before that injury, he was having a bit of pain there.
"It's quite possible the problem he's got isn't anything to do with the injury he sustained last year at all, but the thing that was originally troubling him in the first place."
Turner, who joined the club from Hull in August 2009, had proved himself a key member of Bruce's first-choice defence before his misfortune struck.
He was injured sliding in to successfully clear a Tim Cahill effort off the line during his side's 2-2 draw with the Toffees on November 22.
The defender finished the game, but tests later revealed the ligament injury and he was ruled out for three months, a blow which was compounded by the news that Titus Bramble needed surgery to repair a damaged cartilage.