Fitness boost for Sunderland ahead of crunch Hull City clash

Republic of Ireland's John O'Shea during a team training session at FAI National Training Centre, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Republic of Ireland's John O'Shea during a team training session at FAI National Training Centre, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

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Sunderland have been handed a fitness boost ahead of the Hull City game, with John O’Shea back in training.

The Sunderland skipper limped off with a hamstring injury during the recent 4-1 defeat to Arsenal and missed the win against Bournemouth last weekend. 

But in a boost to David Moyes, 35-year-old O’Shea has returned to training while away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

O’Shea took part in a light training session on Wednesday having delayed meeting up with the Ireland squad by a day so he could receive further treatment at Sunderland’s Academy of Light base.

He was due to take part in full training on Thursday, Ireland’s final training session, before the squad flew to Vienna for Saturday’s sold out World Cup qualifier against Austria.

Sunderland’s injury problems have eased in recent weeks, with Vito Mannone and Seb Larsson both playing 90 minutes in the Checkatrade Trophy win over Notts County in midweek.

On-loan Manchester City defender Jason Denayer also played in the 2-1 win after returning from an adductor injury.

Meanwhile, Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff continue their comeback from back and hamstring injuries, respectively, while Fabio Borini remains out with a thigh injury.

Bottom-of-the-table Sunderland host Hull City a week on Saturday at the Stadium of Light looking to build on their 2-1 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Lamine Kone and Papy Djilobodji were the centre-back pairing for the win over Eddie Howe’s side but the return of O’Shea would be a major boost.