The former England international is nearing a return.
The 28-year old has been out since August with a shoulder injury but has returned to training of late and could feature in some capacity in Saturday’s clash with Bournemouth.
“If we need him, we could bring him in – that’s important, he can change a game,” said Advocaat.
“But physical-wise, he is not 100 per cent, not to play for 90 minutes, let’s say that.”
The return of the pacey winger will be a boost for Advocaat as he looks to improve on a start which sees them languishing in 19th place after two draws and three defeats in their first five Premier League games.
On-loan Spurs defender DeAndre Yedlin is also in contention for a squad place, after being ineligible for last week’s 1-0 defeat to his parent club, and both men will add welcome dynamism to Advocaat’s side.
Despite the loss to Spurs, Sunderland showed signs of promise and, with a front four of Defoe, Borini, Toivonen and Lens, have the personnel to trouble most teams in the league.
Doubts remain over whether Johnson will be able to force himself into that quartet any time soon, while it’s unclear which position the Black Cats boss will opt to utilise Yedlin in.