Phil Parkinson gives encouraging injury update on Sunderland midfielder Max Power

Phil Parkinson will make a late call on Max Power’s availability for the visit of Peterborough United this weekend.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 2:30 pm

Power was substituted during the 2-0 win over Oxford United last week after suffering tightness in his hamstring.

Sunderland’s team captain has been ever-present so far this season and to Parkinson’s relief, assessments of his injury this week have confirmed that the problem is not a serious one.

A decision will be made on his inclusion for Saturday’s game after the team have trained on Friday.

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Sunderland's team captain Max Power

“He's getting better by the day,” Parkinson said.

“It will be a close call for the weekend and if he doesn't make the game this weekend then he'll be in training either Monday or Tuesday next week.

“It's not a serious injury so we'll see.

“He hasn't trained today [Thursday] but we'll see how he is on Friday morning.”

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Parkinson had taken the cautious route in quickly substituting Power at the Kassam Stadium, with Josh Scowen coming on as his replacement.

Scowen has been pushing for a place in the starting XI after a good pre-season campaign and an impressive performance in the 8-1 win over Aston Villa U21s in the EFL Trophy.

He had been considered to replace George Dobson after the midfielder saw red against Bristol Rovers, but Parkinson went with Grant Leadbitter in his natural holding midfield role and said the 34-year-old had ‘taken his chance’.

Scowen’s form means Parkinson won’t risk Power’s inclusion if not necessary.

Sunderland face a hectic schedule in October, when they will play eight times in all competitions.

“We've got players ready to come in,” Parkinson said.

“Max has done alright so far but we won't risk him obviously [if he's not ready].

“It's a long season ahead but it is only a minor injury.

“We thought at the time that we would bring him off [as a precaution] because we have other players who can perform in that area of the pitch.”

Parkinson was also boosted by the return of Elliot Embleton this week.

The talented attacking midfielder has missed all of Sunderland’s competitive games this season after picking up a thigh problem in the first game of pre-season.

Embleton rejoined full training with his team-mates this week, though he remains short of match fitness.

“Elliot has trained with us this week, which is good news,” Parkinson said.

“He obviously needs some minutes but it is good to see him back out there.”

Embleton could well make his return in the Premier League 2 next week.

Sunderland’s U23 side are set to welcome Leeds United to the Academy of Light on Monday afternoon after their narrow 3-2 loss to Burnley in the campaign opener earlier this week.

The game is also likely to feature former Black Cats Academy product Sam Greenwood.

Greenwood left the club in 2018, opting to move to Arsenal where he would subsequently sign his first professional contract.

The talented striker this summer moved to Elland Road in a seven-figure deal, and scored his first goal earlier this week.

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