Phil Parkinson reveals when Sunderland duo Laurens De Bock and Alim Ozturk could return from injury
Phil Parkinson has confirmed that Laurens De Bock and Alim Ozturk could return to the Sunderland squad for the Leasing.com Trophy tie against Leicester City.
The defensive duo have both returned to training at the Academy of Light this week, but are not expected to feature in the League One clash with Southend United.
Instead, they are set to continue training over the course of the weekend ahead of a potential return against the Foxes’ second string.
“Alim and De Bock have both trained this week,” confirmed Parkinson.
“They need some work and they’re going to be training over the weekend with a view to Tuesday night’s game.”
Parkinson could also welcome back Duncan Watmore, who trained on Thursday despite picking up a virus.
The winger was rested for the visit to Oxford United in midweek before picking up the virus, and the Sunderland boss says he will be assessed in the coming days.
“No, not definitely,” said Parkinson, when asked if the winger is a definite absentee.
“The doctor was in with me this morning and Dunc has done some of the training.
“We’re just assessing him because he’s a player who everybody values and he’s had a tough time.
“Any player who has been in the England set-up a few years ago and then has that period, it’s difficult.
“You need to manage him in the right way and we want Duncan for the whole season.
“That’s why in the Oxford game we said no, we had to give him the week.
“We’ll assess him, and make the right call for him and the team.”
Lynden Gooch, meanwhile, is set for a longer spell on the sidelines after suffering a reaction when attempting to return to the grass this week.
Parkinson said: “Goochy - we tried to get him out this week and he had a bit of a reaction, so we had to pull him back.
“That’s frustrating, because he really is chomping at the bit to get out there.”