Didier Ndong will hand David Moyes’ injury-hit Sunderland squad a much-needed boost when he returns to training on Thursday.
The manager’s options have been decimated with injuries to key players, with Victor Anichebe the latest casualty with the striker facing 10-weeks out with knee ligament damage.
Ndong’s early return to Wearside after Gabon’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations is a welcome boost to Moyes.
The 22-year-old is expected to return to training with his teammates tomorrow after his national side could only manage a third-place finish in Group A after three consecutive draws.
Ndong featured in all three games and is available against Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.
Sunderland have also been boosted by the earlier than expected return of Lamine Kone after the Ivory Coast’s early exit. His fitness will be assessed.