Jack Ross gives full Sunderland injury update and sets target for Duncan Watmore return

Duncan Watmore is targeting a return to action in the leasing.com trophy early next month.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 4:30 pm
Duncan Watmore should make his return before the end of the month

The Black Cats welcome Grimsby Town for their first fixture in this year’s competition on October 8th.

Watmore has been out of action with a persistent thigh problem since the opening day of the season, when he was used as a second-half substitute against Oxford United.

The 25-year-old is set to resume full training next week.

“He’s been joining in little bits of training with us,” Jack Ross said.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We’re hopeful that he’ll start fully on Monday.

“All being well, the game against Grimsby Town is a target for him.

“That’s the realistic aim for him, he’s progressing well so we’re hopeful that will be the case.”

Ross faces a number of late decisions ahead of the visit of MK Dons on Saturday afternoon.

He had a number of players unavailable through injury for the 1-0 Carabao Cup win over Sheffield United, including Marc McNulty, Aiden McGeady, Jordan Willis and Alim Ozturk.

Youngsters Brandon Taylor and Lee Connelly were included on the bench as a result.

Ross is likely to welcome back some, but not all, of those senior figures back this weekend.

“With the exception of Jon McLaughlin, all of those who didn’t travel last night were unavailable,” Ross said.

“Some of those trained today, some are still highly doubtful.

“Having those players come into the side and doing well is good for us timing wise. Every one of them put themselves into contention.”

Ross will also monitor Joel Lynch and Laurens De Bock, who are still getting up to full speed after joining the club late in the summer window.

Both were superb on debut at Bramall Lane.

“Subject to them recovering okay from the game, then they’re very much part of the first-team squad now,” Ross said.

“They were part of the squad anyway, but in terms of being available for selection, they were still catching up all the time.

“The fact they came through that was great, and as long as they’ve come through that okay, then like every other player they’re very much part of that squad that’s available for selection.”