Jan Kirchhoff won’t return for Sunderland until after international break

Jan Kirchhoff
Jan Kirchhoff
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Jan Kirchhoff won’t return to the Sunderland starting line-up until after the international break at the earliest.

The German midfielder has been out with a hamstring injury since limping off in the Montpellier friendly in pre-season in France.

Kirchhoff is back running in training after having an injection to see if medics could cure a bit of neuro pain leading into his hamstring.

An exact date for his return hasn’t been set, but Moyes doesn’t expect to see him back in a Sunderland shirt until after the international break, which starts after this weekend’s trip to Southampton in the Premier League.

“Jan Kirchhoff is doing a bit of running,” said Moyes.

“My feeling is he won’t be ready at the earliest until after the international break.

“I don’t think he will make tonight or Saturday.”

Lee Cattermole has already been ruled out for between four to six weeks after undergoing a double hernia operation, while Seb Larsson is out for up to six months after undergoing knee surgery.

Fabio Borini won’t be involved tonight due to a toe injury.

But there was some brighter news on John O’Shea, who was subbed with a hip problem – not his groin as first feared – in the first half against Middlesbrough.

“It is John’s hip and they don’t think it is as bad as they thought, so, hopefully, it is not as bad,” said Moyes.

“We are not sure of that yet, but they don’t think it is too bad.

“Fabio had an injection in his toe on Saturday. He is running on the grass, it is getting up onto the ball of his foot that is the problem.

“He won’t be available for tonight, a chance, maybe for the weekend.”

Meanwhile, Moyes is set to include more of the club’s Under-23 players in the squad after their 3-2 win over Leicester City on Monday night, with Ethan Robson scoring a late free-kick.

“I think they played very well, as far as I know and a couple have done well,” said Moyes.

“Hopefully the ones that did well will be rewarded with at least a place on the bench.”