Michael Beale outlines when Bradley Dack will be back in action for Sunderland - and gives Corry Evans update

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Michael Beale has been discussing the injury latest at Sunderland ahead of Plymouth Argyle's visit to the Stadium of Light

Michael Beale admits that Bradley Dack and Corry Evans are both still some way off making their Sunderland comebacks, though Dack should be available next month.

Dack has not played since suffering a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win over Hull City on Boxing Day, while Evans has been absent since suffering an ACL injury against Middlesbrough in January of last year. Dack has been back out training on his own at the Academy of Light this week but has not rejoined the main group.

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Beale said: "He's been back out the last couple of days. You're probably looking at the start of next month for Bradley."

Evans has also been out running on his own but while Elliot Embleton will play 45 minutes for the U21s on Friday night, the defensive midfielder is not close to making his own return. Beale says that is to be expected given the severity of his injury and while he admits that his leadership remains a big miss behind the scenes, he says other players have been stepping up to share some of that burden. "He's still a little way off," Beale said.

"When you have the injury he's had there's always going to be small complications. He's a little bit behind Elliot if I'm honest.

"Mentors in the changing room when it's such a young group is important," he added.

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'Don't get me wrong, a young group has no fear and it's vibrant and lively but mentors are still important. It's hard to be that if you're not playing. You can do that around the training ground but it's hard when you're not around it.

"We've certainly missed that. You don't play as many games and be an international and club captain if you don't have something about you. We can't replace what we don't have with him. Someone like Luke O'Nien has really stepped up.

"He's been a real leader in the dressing room but when Corry comes back it will be a big asset to the group."

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