Power played 20 minutes against Belenenses despite initially expecting to miss the start of the season with an ankle problem.
Ross praised his ‘hard work’ in getting back fit and also offered an encouraging update on Aiden McGeady, who did not make the squad but has trained fully with the squad this week.
Ross is hoping that he will feature when Herenveen visit the Stadium of Light next Saturday.
“Max is two or three weeks ahead of schedule and it was also good to get Duncan out there for an hour looking strong and providing that threat,” Ross said.
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“There were a lot of good things about tonight. I know people always say that managers tend to say pre-season results matter when they win, and don’t matter when they lose, but for me it is always more important that we are improving and building towards the first game of the season against Oxford.
“Max and Aiden have both been working hard on rehab and have joined in parts of what we have done while we have been in Portugal, and they both trained hard this morning,” Ross added.
“Aiden’s injury is slightly different and given the relationship I have with him, I know that if he felt absolutely right then he would have been on the pitch tonight.
“All being well, when we return, he might be involved in some way in the Heerenveen game next weekend.
“As for Max, he was keen to play tonight. He has worked hard and he is ahead of schedule and he really wanted to be involved tonight.
“I’m pleased to see him back again.”
Despite failing to find the back of the net, Sunderland looked bright against Belenenses, with Elliot Embleton and Duncan Watmore combining well.
Ross was pleased to see Watmore power through his expected minutes and look strong.
“We said to Duncan tonight to get through 45 minutes and then see how he was, and he still looked strong after 65 minutes and you could see what he gives us in forward areas.”