Lee Johnson gives Sunderland injury and COVID update - including Corry Evans latest

Lee Johnson believes he will have a stronger squad to pick from when Sunderland travel to Accrington Stanley on Saturday, though Alex Pritchard is an injury doubt.

Johnson had revealed in the aftermath of the 3-1 defeat to Lincoln City that Pritchard had played through a knock, and has now said that the attacking midfielder is '50/50' as his side look to bounce back from that disappointing midweek result.

The head coach expects some of those who have missed the last two games due to positive COVID-19 test results to return.

Jack Diamond, Anthony Patterson and Josh Hawkes are all still with the club following their recent recalls from loan spells at Harrogate Town, Notts County, and Tranmere Rovers.

Sunderland midfielder Corry Evans

"We'll have more options [tomorrow], it's fair to say," Johnson said.

"Obviously it's always touch wood in terms of the COVID stuff, but at the moment it's nice to be able to welcome two or three back into the group."

It is not yet clear at this stage whether Bailey Wright will return on Saturday, having missed the last two games with what is said to be a minor injury.

The Sunderland head coach has delivered a positive update on Corry Evans, who was stretchered off the pitch in last weekend's 3-3 draw with Wycombe Wanderers after colliding with Patterson.

Evans suffered a concussion, but there appears to have been no long-term damage as a result of the collision.

Having gone through the FA protocols Evans could return at Accrington, but Johnson says the club will have to proceed with caution as the 31-year-old has suffered from concussions at Blackburn Rovers.

"Corry is in good spirits," Johnson said.

"We have got to be careful because at his previous club, he had a couple of similar scenarios in terms of going through the concussion protocols.

"So we're taking a bit of extra care with him, and we'll have a look at it and see whether it's the right thing to do or not [bring him back]."

Frederik Alves will not be in the matchday squad after West Ham United on Friday exercised their loan recall option on the defender.

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