Charlie Wyke set for early return from injury as Sunderland boss reveals positive update
Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke could return to full training as early as next week after Jack Ross revealed that the summer signing's recovery is ahead of schedule.
Wyke is yet to feature for the Black Cats after joining from Bradford City having picked up a knee injury during the Bantams' pre-season friendly against Sheffield United.
While the knock didn't affect Sunderland's pursuit of the striker, it has meant that Ross has been unable to utilise his eye-catching signing thus far.
The injury to Wyke - coupled with Jerome Sinclair's spell on the sidelines - has left Josh Maja to carry the goal-scoring burden in Sunderland's opening games.
LIVE: Transfer latest from Sunderland as Jack Ross reveals a transfer updateBut that may be about to end soon, with Ross revealing that Wyke is set for an early return from injury after his recovery was accelerated.
With the striker's progress ahead of schedule, the Black Cats' boss is hopeful that he could return to training as early as next week - with a view to being involved in the Oxford United game on September 2.
Wyke, along with fellow absentees Tom Flanagan, Aiden McGeady and Duncan Watmore, is set to remain on Wearside as the rest of the squad head south for the week ahead of back-to-back away games.
WATCH: Juan Sartori joins Sunderland fans' singalong - with a dig at NewcastleHe will continue with his rehabilitation at the Academy of Light with Ross remaining optimistic that the early return can be facilitated.
But if it cannot, the Scot is still confident that his current attacking options will continue to help the side to positive results.
"He is getting ever closer, " said Ross, speaking at his pre-match press conference.
"We will travel tomorrow and be based in the London area for the remainder of the week with the fixtures we have.
"But Charlie will stay behind with the other guys - Tom, Duncan and Aiden - and work here.
LIVE: Transfer latest from Sunderland as Jack Ross reveals a transfer update"But I’m hoping that by the start of next week he’ll be able to join in with the rest of the group, which is ahead of the schedule and a bonus for us.
"It might be that the Oxford game comes too quickly, but there might be an outside opportunity of him being involved around that time.
"What we’ve managed to do is knock off these fixtures and gain positive results without his presence and hopefully we can do that across the rest of the week and by the time we play Oxford we might have him back."