Alex Neil hopeful on Nathan Broadhead and Alex Pritchard injuries as Sunderland head into international break

Sunderland boss Alex Neil is hopeful Nathan Broadhead and Alex Pritchard will be able to return after the international break.

The Black Cats don’t have a league game for two weeks after their meeting with Rotherham, scheduled to be played this weekend, was postponed.

Sunderland will now prepare for a league meeting against relegation-threatened Gillingham at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, April 2.

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It will be the first of seven matches in 29 days for Sunderland as they battle to finish in the League One play-off places.

Nathan Broadhead playing for Sunderland.

If Pritchard and Broadhead are able to return it would give the Black Cats a big lift for the run-in.

Pritchard has been sidelined with an ankle issue which he picked up at Charlton earlier this month, yet, following initial fears the playmaker could be absent for up to two months, his progress has been encouraging.

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Broadhead has also missed the side’s last three matches after feeling tightness in his hamstring following the Charlton game.

When asked after Saturday’s goalless draw at Lincoln if the break will provide an opportunity for Broadhead to recover, Neil replied: “It’s not really a surprise but we’re too light at the top end.

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“With Nathan and with Alex who have been really sort of productive for us this year, they will certainly help when they come back because they have got goals in them and are productive at this level, and they can change games.”

Defender Danny Batth has also been sidelined with an ankle issue but has returned to training.

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