The inspirational defender reports that he suffered a twisted knee against Newcastle last week, although he doesn't know when it happened.
"I just twisted my knee against Newcastle on Wednesday night, I think," said Dean. "I can't remember the exact incident in which I did it either as it was fine after the game.
"I sat down when I got home and when I got up it was a bit sore. During the night it swelled up a bit and was quite painful on Thursday and there is just a little bit of swelling left on it now.
"It should be fine for the weekend. Hopefully I should be back training by Wednesday and by okay for Saturday."
Dean has missed a few games recently with Achilles and knee problems, but now hopes to string a run of games together.
"It's been frustrating because I just keep picking up little niggles. I want to get a consistent run of games going and be fully involved in training and everything.
"If it had been a week in-between games I would have been fine, but three days between Newcastle and Chelsea was too quick," he added, before stating that three points from the Sunderland game is a must.
"They are all big games for us now and we have to be looking to get maximum points from the majority of them.
"To push on and finish in the top six we've got to be winning games like this at home."
Dean Richards says he is confident of being fit to face Sunderland at the Lane on Saturday after missing the draw against Chelsea with a knee injury.