Lee Johnson reveals the latest on Tom Flanagan and Ross Stewart in Sunderland injury update

Lee Johnson has hinted that Tom Flanagan and Ross Stewart could both be in his matchday squad for the play-off semi final first leg against Lincoln City on Wednesday.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 5:00 pm

Stewart impressed in the 3-1 win over Plymouth Argyle that secured Sunderland's top-six spot, but was forced to miss the final day 1-1 draw with Northampton Town due to a hamstring problem.

The striker did not feature in a behind-closed-doors friendly with the U23 group last Friday, as Johnson had hoped he might, but the head coach nevertheless believes the 24-year-old could be ready for action.

Flanagan, meanwhile, has not played since the Papa John's Trophy final against Tranmere Rovers, a game in which an injury forced him off in the first half.

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Ross Stewart could be in contention to make a Sunderland return on Wednesday

He made his return in the U23's 1-1 draw with Stoke City last Monday, and Sunderland's shortage of defensive options has brought him into contention.

"We played against our U23s and Ross Stewart wasn't involved in that but we are going to have a look at him over the next couple of days," Johnson said.

"We think he's OK, and certainly if he gets through the final test he would be ready to start, if we needed to.

"Tom has trained and it's obviously something we've got to consider," he added.

"He's a top character, a top lad and he seems like he's in good nick."

Johnson also confirmed that he has no concerns at this stage over a foot injury that has recently affected Aiden McGeady's involvement.

Johnson said he has a couple of players who have been ruled out, but added that his biggest decision remains who will miss out on a place in the matchday squad.

"We're not looking too bad, we'll certainly have a surplus in the squad," he said.

"I'll have a couple of sleepless nights, not so much in terms of the starting XI but in terms of the bench. That's always the difficult one for me because you never want to leave anyone out of the squad.

"But we'll certainly travel down with 20 or 21 players.

"We do have a couple out which I won't reveal now, but at the same time a couple back which is important."

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