Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has yet to decide whether to offer loan defender John Mensah a permanent contract to remain at the Stadium of Light.
The 27-year-old Ghana international has made a favourable impression on Wearside since his arrival from French club Lyon, but injury problems have limited him to just 15 appearances.
That has prompted caution from Bruce before a decision over a longer-term deal is made.
He told the club's official website:"To be honest, the injuries are why he's here.
"If he'd have stayed fit at Lyon it might have been different, but he picked up an injury and they got another player in.
"Unfortunately that's a problem John's got. We know what the problem is, but we also know what a fantastic player he can be when he's on the pitch.
"We'll wait and see how he is."