LEE Cattermole has urged Sunderland’s medical team to find a solution to the club’s injury woes during the close season.
Sunderland’s players had more sick days than any other Premier League club this season, with their injury absentees missing a combined total of 2001 days.
Skipper Cattermole spent his fair share on the treatment table after missing three months with a stress fracture to the back – a problem that recurred earlier this month and ruled the 23-year-old out of the final three games of the campaign.
Cattermole will undergo a scan next week to ascertain the damage to his back, with the former Middlesbrough midfielder desperate to participate in his first full pre-season campaign with Sunderland.
But Cattermole realises there is a bigger issue which needs to be addressed after injuries ruined Sunderland’s top six challenge over the second half of the season.
He told the Echo: “It’s something we’ve got to look at.
“Whatever we’re doing that’s caused these injuries, we need to stop it because it doesn’t help the team or the momentum of the game.
“It’s not good for the lads either when you see people having to coming off.
“We’ve got to concentrate on making sure everyone’s right to go out on a Saturday and help the team.”
The one plus point of Sunderland’s catalogue of injuries has been the rise to prominence of Cattermole’s fellow central midfielder Jack Colback.
The 21-year-old will return to pre-season training as an integral part of Steve Bruce’s first-team squad after shining in the final six games of the campaign.
Cattermole believes he can form an effective partnership alongside Colback, with both possessing the energy needed to press the opposition and get from box to box.
“There’s a decent squad here with some good young players who are itching to get in the squad,” added Cattermole.
“People like Colback have come in and done magnificently.
“There’s no doubting Jack’s ability – he’s a great footballer. “Playing alongside me will help him to make the most of the drive he’s got too.
“Our manager wants us to play a pressing game. It suits the Premier League because it’s a quick game and you need to get up and down the pitch.”