Simon Grayson will introduce Duncan Watmore to the first time squad this month but insists he will take no risks with the player.
Watmore’s return is eagerly anticipated among the Sunderland fanbase with the side short on pace and energy.
The 23-year-old has been training with the first team for a significant period now but Grayson has warned that it could be another month before he is ready to start a game.
Grayson said: “I could be playing with someone’s livelihood. There’s a high percentage rate of players coming back from a serious injury that there could be repercussions. I’m not prepared to take that risk, I’ll be guided by the specialists, the fitness department.
“It might be 10 minutes here or there, or more time in the U23’s. I would think Duncan Watmore wouldn’t start a first team game for another month probably. I’d like him to but I won’t play with someone’s livelihood,” he added.
“I’m not saying he won’t be in and around it hopefully he will. He’s been back in with the first team for two or three weeks now and he’s looking sharp and strong. Of course it’s a different barrier to cross playing again in the first team after a serious injury.”
Grayson has also revealed that Paddy McNair is closing in on a significant mileston ins his recovery from a smiliar injury.
McNair required a second operation after suffering a set-back at the start of the summer but will soon be back in training.
Grayson said: “He’s out doing all the running, we expect him to drop back into parts of the training probably next week sometime, so that’s again a nice psychological boost for him.”
The Black Cats is confident that the return of that duo will help results to turn for the better.
He said: “At this moment in time, when you’ve got Watmore out, McNair who is a talented, energetic midfielder player out, McGeady has been out, Maja is still out, we’ve got some players at the top end of the pitch who can hurt the opposition when fit. Williams has been a very good player in the last two games, we’ll get more game time in him, McManaman was effective and will feel the benefits, it will better as we go along.”