Ahmed Elmohamady has been recalled early from his loan spell at N.Power Championship side, Hull City.
The 25 year-old Egyptian winger-cum-full-back returns to the Stadium of Light halfway through a season-loan loan spell at the KC Stadium.
After joining in August, Elmohamady made 23 appearances for Steve Bruce’s side, scoring once during his time in Yorkshire.
Elmohamady has made just one substitute appearance for the Black Cats this season – away to Arsenal on the opening day of the season.
Scarcely used by Martin O’Neill last season, Elmohamady is expected to leave the club once more on-loan when further additions have been made by O’Neill to his depleted squad.
With Wes Brown, Danny Rose and Carlos Cuellar all sidelined and David Meyler and Ji Dong-Won departing, O’Neill is in need of extra bodies despite the arrivals of Kader Mangane and Alfred N’Diaye.