FULL-BACKS Danny Rose and Phil Bardsley are both be available for tomorrow’s game against Norwich City – but striker Danny Graham is a slight injury doubt.
Manager Martin O’Neill’s options are further boosted by the expected recovery of James McClean from illness and Connor Wickham’s return from loan at Sheffield Wednesday.
Rose (right) and Bardsley came on as second-half substitutes in Sunderland’s 3-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers last Saturday and both will be in contention for places in the starting line-up for the Sunday’s early afternoon kick off against the Canaries.
McClean has trained this week and can expect to return to his place on the bench where O’Neill can look for him to be an impact sub, and alongside his is likely to be Wickham, fresh from his return from a successful loan spell at Hillsborough.
All these are extra options for the manager as he looks to end Sunderland’s six-game winless run.
But it will be Graham who the manager will be keeping a close eye on ahead of the game.
He told the Echo: “He should be OK but Danny Graham has had a bit of a hamstring strain.
“He’s barely trained in the early part of the week but I’m hoping he will be able to do some work pre-match and will be fine.”
At least O’Neill will now have Wickham as an extra alternative up front.
He said: “In the scheme of things, while it would have been nice for Connor to have stayed and perhaps gained some momentum at Sheffield Wednesday we just didn’t have the numbers to allow that to happen.
“Connor is a definite option for us at a time when we don’t have many options.”