Fitness boost for Sunderland ahead of Leeds United clash

Lamine Kone in action for Sunderland.
Lamine Kone in action for Sunderland.
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Sunderland have been handed a boost with the return to training of Lamine Kone.

The centre back missed the 3-1 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday with a groin injury picked up in the second half of the win over Derby County.

Chris Coleman admitted in the aftermath of the Easter Monday defeat he was unsure when Kone would return but he was back in training at the Academy of Light on Thursday.

The Sunderland boss hopes to be able to call upon him for the trip to Elland Road on Saturday to face Leeds United.

Coleman said: "Lamine trained [Thursday]. So, it’s been a good recovery from the weekend, he trained and his chances should be okay for the weekend."

Coleman paired skipper John O’Shea with fit-again Marc Wilson against the Owls but there could be another defensive reshuffle should Kone be fit to start.

The other option is Chelsea loanee Jake Clarke-Salter, who is available again after serving a two-game ban.

The England U21 international was sent off against Preston North End in his first game back after a three-game ban after seeing red against Middlesbrough.

Bryan Oviedo and Brendan Galloway trained Thursday but didn’t complete the session and will be assessed ahead of Leeds.

Sunderland are second bottom, eight points adrift of safety. Coleman knows only a win will do. He said: "We’ve got to try and win the game, plain and simple.

"Coming back from Elland Road with a draw, we’re going to be disappointed. Normally you’d think that’s a good point, where we are, we’ve got to win the game."