Sunderland boss provides injury update on Jon McLaughlin, Tom Flanagan and Reece James after victory over Bristol Rovers

Reece James was withdrawn before kick-off against Bristol Rovers with an ankle injury but Jack Ross remains hopeful he will be fit to face Portsmouth next weekend.

Saturday, 15th December 2018, 4:51 pm
Updated Saturday, 15th December 2018, 4:58 pm
Sunderland manager Jack Ross.

The left-back was named in the starting line-up but suffered an ankle injury in the warm-up and was replaced with Bryan Oviedo.

Tom Flanagan missed the game altogether with a knock picked up in training and has an outside chance of making the trip to Pompey next Saturday, Sunderland cutting the gap to the league leaders with the 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers.

Jon McLaughlin went off with a back spasm, Robbin Ruiter replacing him midway through the second half, and Ross is hopeful it isn't serious.

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On James, Ross said: "It was an ankle injury, he suffered it in the warm-up. When you have any concerns, I would prefer to make the change prior to kick-off rather than ten to 15 minutes into the game because you may get unforeseen circumstances like your goalkeeper going off.

“Reece shouldn’t be too bad, I would hope he’d be no longer than a few days.

“Tom got a knock against Walsall, he took a bit longer to recover. I would be hopeful he'd have a chance for next weekend, a chance, not definite.

“Jon is okay, he suffered a back spasm. It was one he possibly could have continued but he is experienced enough and sensible enough.

"His concern was it may have affected his ability to make a save late in the game. I think it was a sensible decision to make.

“It can settle quickly as it comes on. Hopeful it won’t rule him out for too long.”

Sunderland fell behind to an 11th minute Alex Rodman goal but Adam Matthews equalised before half-time, Josh Maja scoring the winner in the second half.

Ross said: “We had the late change in the warm-up, we had to deal with that.

“The first 15 minutes I was quite pleased with, take the goal, out, performance wise we were okay.

“The players kept creating chances, I was pleased they got the reward just before half-time.

“We worked hard to get ourselves ahead."