Concussion fears could rule Sunderland striker out of Derby County and Sheff Wed games

Joel Asoro is a major doubt for Sunderland's Easter weekend fixtures after suffering a suspected concussion on international duty.

Wednesday, 28th March 2018, 2:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th March 2018, 2:55 pm
Sunderland forward Joel Asoro.

The 18-year-old was substituted 55 minutes in to Sweden Under-21s 1-0 win over Cyprus on Tuesday night.

Reports in Sweden claim the forward suffered a concussion and if scan results confirm that then Asoro won’t be able to play in another game for six days.

That would rule the teenager out of the Good Friday game against Derby County, with the forward also a major doubt for the Easter Monday visit of Sheffield Wednesday.

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FA concussion guidelines dictate a player should not feature in another game within six days of suffering a loss of consciousness and should be reintroduced to training on a gradual basis to guard against further problems.

Fredrik Bergstrom, Swedish U21 physician, is quoted by Football Channel, in Sweden, saying: "He is, under the circumstances, ok.

"He has a concussion. Return can not be forecast until the brain scan is started.

"It is at least 24 hours between the results of the scan. Earliest return six days after concussion. This is being evaluated continuously."

If Asoro were to be ruled out that would represent a major blow to Chris Coleman.

Sunderland are already low on strikers with only goalshy Ashley Fletcher and Josh Maja to call upon, with winger Kazenga LuaLua the other option.

Sunderland are five points adrift of safety heading into the final eight games and Asoro has been one of the few bright spots in recent weeks.

Asoro would almost certainly have started against promotion-chasing Derby County, with the visit of Sheffield Wednesday following three days later.

Coleman has already stated he would like to tie Asoro and teenage strike partner Maja down to longer-term deals after their impressive form in a struggling Sunderland side this season.