Jack Ross explains why Duncan Watmore will not be involved for Sunderland against Accrington Stanley
Jack Ross has confirmed that Duncan Watmore will sit out Sunderland's clash with Accrington Stanley.
Watmore caught the eye against Blackpool in what was his first league start since the trip to Portsmouth in December, with his pace and directness helping the Black Cats in what was one of their better attacking displays of late.
But while encouraged by his display against the Seasiders, Ross is keen not to rush the forward back into regular football too quickly and is employing caution ahead of the visit of John Coleman's side on Friday evening.
The two injuries suffered by Watmore in recent years have seen the time needed to recover between fixtures increased - and it's for that reason that Ross will be leaving him out of the eighteen-man squad to take on Stanley.
"He won't be involved tomorrow night, which is a blow for us because obviously his performance was so positive," he said.
"The reality of his recovery is that it's not possible for him to play two games in as quick succession as that - not that it will be the case for him indefinitely.
"It is the case when you're recovering from an ACL injury and when you're recovering from two in such a short period then the recovery time between games tends to be longer.
"So he will be back available for the Gillingham fixture next Tuesday, but won't be for tomorrow evening."
And Watmore may not be the only player absent for the visit of Accrington - with Ross sweating on the fitness of some other first-team players.
Bryan Oviedo was the only absentee for Tuesday's visit of Blackpool, while midfielder Lee Cattermole returned to training earlier this week after an injury lay-off.
But some 'minor issues' will have to be assessed by the Sunderland boss ahead of the televised clash at the Stadium of Light.
"We've got a couple of minor issues that we have to continue to assess over today and tomorrow morning," admitted Ross.
"That's just natural with having the games so close together, and we'll make a decision on them.
"But there is nothing else of significance."