Jack Ross gives full Sunderland injury update and has positive news on key pair

Jack Ross expects both Lee Cattermole and Reece James to return for the trip to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 15:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 15:33 pm
Lee Cattermole should return to the Sunderland squad on Saturday

The pair missed the 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night, Cattermole with an ankle problem and James with a groin issue.

Both have returned to training.

"Lee and Reece trained on Thursday," Ross said.

"George [Honeyman] I would expect to train on Friday. We wouldn't have done much today regardless but he's a lot better.

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"Alim [Ozturk] didn't travel on Tuesday due to a slight groin problem that will be probably rule him out for Saturday.

"Other than that, we're pretty healthy."

It leaves Ross with virtually a full squad to pick from, Chris Maguire the only long-term absentee due to a broken fibula.

Donald Love remains short of match fitness after injury and Ross suggested that the same applies to Bryan Oviedo, who will likely miss out on a place in the matchday squad.

"He's been back training this week but he hasn't played for a while now," Ross said.

"So he's playing a bit of catch up in that respect and obviously there's real competition for places in that area of the pitch now."

The Black Cats boss was encouraged by the response of Adam Matthews and Max Power on Tuesday night, after they replaced Cattermole and James in the starting XI.

It leaves Ross relaxed about the prospect of losing anyone from what has become a settled side.

"I tend not to think about [injuries] much but if I did the comforting thing would be that one, I've got quite a healthy squad and two, if you look at Tuesday night, Adam and Max, two players who I think a lot of and have done well for me this season, came in and were good," he said.

"So that's comforting.

"You know you've got not just what people would perceive as strength in depth, but actually players who when they get opportunities, play at the best.

"I thought the two of them were very good."

Sunderland is a club riding the crest of a wave after booking their place at Wembley later this month, but Ross is confident that his side are ready to focus on a crucial run of league games and has no concern about fatigue.

"I think the way we worked out, having that journey back after the game, it was a positive one because of what we achieved," Ross said.

"In some ways it was good because players and staff spent a lot of time with each other because it may be allowed us to get that out of our system if you like.

"Players rested yesterday and Thursday was quite light.

"I think physically and mentally they feel really good, which is not surprising when they're on a good run.

"When you're winning games, these factors [leading to fatigue] tend to diminish."