Safety first! Asamoah Gyan and Keiren Westwood won’t be risked in Germany

Dated: 17/07/2011'Armenia Bielefeld v Sunderland ... Sunderland's Connor Wickham in action during today's friendly match at the Schco Arena in Bielefeld, Germany ...' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES *** Local Caption ***
Dated: 17/07/2011'Armenia Bielefeld v Sunderland ... Sunderland's Connor Wickham in action during today's friendly match at the Schco Arena in Bielefeld, Germany ...' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES *** Local Caption ***
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ASAMOAH Gyan and Keiren Westwood have been all but ruled out of Sunderland’s German pre-season tour.

Manager Steve Bruce is taking no chances with the pair with the duo, who did not feature in yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Third Division Arminia Bielefeld and are unlikely to participate in the remaining two games against Hannover 96 and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Ghana hitman Gyan only returned to training last week after being given extra leave following his international commitments during the summer, while Westwood remains hampered by the shoulder problem sustained during the final month of his tenure at Coventry.

Instead, Sunderland are finalising another pre-season friendly, expected to take place in Scotland on Wednesday, July 27, where Gyan and Westwood will make their comebacks.

Boss Bruce told the Echo: “We’re just working on Asa’s general fitness levels at the moment. He did the work-out before the game yesterday.

“He was still playing in the middle of June with Ghana and was obviously training up until then too.

“We’ve just given him a bit of an extra break and now we’re seeing when he’ll be ready. But I would be surprised if I play him on tour.

“We need 10 days of fitness with him ready for the game next week which we are hoping to organise.

“Keiren has had this ongoing shoulder injury. We hope we can get the go-ahead to play him in that game too but he’s another who I can’t see playing on tour.”

Bruce will adopt a similarly cautious approach over defenders John O’Shea and Wes Brown.

O’Shea was taken off just 34 minutes into yesterday’s encounter after feeling a slight niggle with his hamstring – an injury which is not expected to be a serious one.

Brown was absent altogether and is unlikely to feature against Hannover on Wednesday either after sustaining a knock in training.

Bruce added: “John’s okay. He got a slight hamstring niggle and I’m not going to take any risks. It’s just precautionary at the moment.

“I don’t think Wes will play on Wednesday, we’re just erring on the side of caution at the moment.

“It’s very slight, but the last thing I’m going to do is take a chance on someone who has got a niggle.”