The ex-Manchester United man has suffered a torrid time with knee injuries throughout his career, missing the entire 2012-13 season, but has started Sunderland's last four Premier League matches.

After his side's 0-0 draw at Aston Villa on Saturday, in which Brown successfully marshalled Christian Benteke, Poyet stressed his medical team were doing all they can to look after the 34-year-old.

"We're really looking after him," the Uruguayan said.

"We're constantly asking questions and getting very good answers from him.

"When you've got a player who's played at the highest level in your squad and you cannot use him it's very frustrating but I'm the lucky one, I got to the club at the right time when he got fit and now we need to keep him fit."

Poyet went on to say that it would take a collective effort to make sure Brown continued to play a prominent role in Sunderland's fight for Premier League survival.

"It's a job for him, for the medical staff, for me, his teammates," he added.

"We need to help him and make him recover.

"I'm not a magician and I cannot see the future but I hope he can keep getting better because I'm sure he will get better physically.

"I think he can play on Wednesday (when they host Chelsea) but on Tuesday I need to check and make sure I'm 100 per cent convinced he can play."