Coates joined the Black Cats at the end of the transfer window, signing a season-long loan-deal at the Stadium of Light.
The 24-year-old Uruguayan has hardy featured since his switch to Wearside, with a thigh injury ruling him out of the majority of competitive action. He has made just one appearance in the League Cup this term, but he could be set to make his Premier League bow at the weekend - with Sunderland facing league leaders Chelsea.
The Blues travel to the Stadium of Light on Saturday as the first game of a tough triple-header for the Black Cats, with Manchester City and Liverpool to follow in the eight days after. Veteran defender Wes Brown has been looking jaded in recent weeks, and head coach Gus Poyet admitted that he had doubts over whether the former Manchester Untied man could cope with three such demanding games in such a short space of time.
Coates would be ineligible for the fixture with Liverpool - with Premier League rules forbidding loanees turning out against their parent clubs - but Poyet could well use the defender in the Chelsea or City games, giving him his Sunderland Premier League debut in a fixture in which the Blues will be looking to registering a convincing victory to further extend their lead at the top of the table.
Poyet doesn’t expect any problems with the fitness of 33-year-old John O’Shea, but he told the Chronicle that he will be monitoring 36-year-old Brown in the coming week so he can manage the situation to the best of his ability.
“With John it’s not a big issue because he is fit and he has been playing all the time,” the coach said.
“With Wes, it depends. We are learning, both of us, how to manage the weeks to make sure he gets in perfect condition for the game.
“Normally when it comes to the more senior players – let’s not call them old! – you have to have a look. If a manager treats everybody the same, you have a massive problem if you are treating a 36-year-old exactly the same way as someone who is 19! That’s unrealistic.
“We’ll have to look at it. It’s a situation we will have to manage.”