Sunderland head coach David Moyes has confirmed that Patrick van Aanholt was omitted from his squad against Tottenham due to health concerns.
Sunderland's 1-0 loss to Spurs was their fourth in their opening five games of the Premier League season, and the omission of the Dutch full-back did raise a few eyebrows.
However, Moyes says rumours of a fallout are false and revealed Van Aanholt was only ruled out ten minutes prior to kick-off at White Hart Lane.
"Patrick had a standard cardiology test. Because of that, the FA cardiology panel was involved," he told reporters. "They informed us 10 minutes before the game, so we pulled him out.
"I can categorically say that all conspiracy theories are incorrect. It was completely out of our control. We had to make the correct decision for the player and for the football club."
The Netherlands international has played 73 games for the Black Cats, scoring six goals, since joining the club for £2 million from Chelsea in 2014.