Phil Parkinson gives mixed Sunderland injury update with key forward set for return

Lynden Gooch is in contention to make his Sunderland return against Blackpool on Saturday, but defender Jordan Willis is a doubt for the crunch clash.

Willis has been battling a knee problem in recent weeks and though he came through it to face Gillingham last weekend, he has had another issue in training this week.

Gooch has been missing with an ankle problem since the 5-0 win over Tranmere Rovers in late October.

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Charlie Wyke looks set to get the nod up front after making an encouraging return from an ankle issue of his own last weekend.

Lynden Gooch is closing in on a return to actionLynden Gooch is closing in on a return to action
Lynden Gooch is closing in on a return to action

“Jordan Willis opened his knee up slightly in training, so we’ll just have to monitor that closer to kick off,” Parkinson said.

“He’s just gone in for a challenge in training, it’s not serious.

“Dylan McGeouch has still got a problem with his calf, he came back into training but still wasn’t quite right so it will probably next week before we see him back on the training pitch.

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“Lynden Gooch has trained the full week which is great to see.

“Charlie has had a full week on the training pitch as well, so he’s ahead of where he was this time last week. I thought he came on and made a good contribution against Gillingham, and he’s chomping at the bit to get a starting berth.”

Joel Lynch could make hs return to the side should Willis fail to recover, having been dropped last weejend following a difficult nigth against Burton Albion the last time the Black Cats played at the Stadium of Light.

Parkinson says the former QPR defender has had some issues adapting to the life in the north east but feels he is ready to play a part if required.

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“Joel has had a bit of illness and a few issues settling in as well in terms of moving from down south,” he said.

“He’s just had a young baby, so things have been tough for him settling up here.

“But he’s trained well and pushing for inclusion.”

Aiden McGeady will not be considered for selection after being told he can leave the club in January.