Phil Parkinson has positive Sunderland injury update with key players set for return

Phil Parkinson will be able to restore a number of senior players to his starting XI for the visit of MK Dons on Saturday.
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Josh Scowen, Lynden Gooch, Denver Hume and Luke O'Nien all missed Sunderland's two cup defeats, with Parkinson eager to give them a period for rest and recovery ahead of the crucial League One clash.

All four have trained in the latter part of this week, and all four are expected to be available for selection.

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The news is particularly crucial as Parkinson's defensive options are depleted, with Conor McLaughlin and Tom Flanagan away on international duty.

Denver Hume is one of a number of Sunderland players set to return to the side on Saturday afternoonDenver Hume is one of a number of Sunderland players set to return to the side on Saturday afternoon
Denver Hume is one of a number of Sunderland players set to return to the side on Saturday afternoon

Jordan Willis is also available for selection, after coming through 90 minutes in the 2-1 defeat to Fleetwood.

"We picked a team for the FA Cup game that we felt should have won the game, but a focus for me in the week was the players who had been ruled out [with injury] and one or two who needed a break," Parkinson said.

"My aim was to get through this week with as many of our key senior players available for this weekend as possible.

"Josh, Lynden, Denver and Luke have all trained.

"Jordan is ready [to start].

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"It's quite a difficult problem to explain to people who haven't had it.

"It is something which just needs to be managed, and Jordan has managed it.

"He got to this stage last year, after the Scunthorpe game, when he just needed that injection to help him and he'll have on after this game.

"Playing that central role in the back three the other night, it's probably the least demanding position on the pitch in our system.

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"We expect the other centre-backs to join in when we're in possession, which is something he's done for us when he's played there.

"Lessening the workload in the last couple of weeks has helped him, as well, and he felt good in the game.

"He's certainly had no adverse reaction to playing the other night."

There was further good news for Parkinson with initial feedback suggesting that Callum McFadzean has not suffered a serious hamstring problem.

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McFadzean suffered an injury during the build up to Fleetwood's second goal on Tuesday night, bringing an end to another very promising performance from the new signing.

He will not be involved on Saturday, but that is more as a precautionary measure.

"That's the plan with Callum," Parkinson said.

"He's made good progress since he came to the club, and because he's now had those two cup cames.

"He felt a bit of tightness in that hamstring at Fleetwood, and we were about to bring him off anyway.

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"It's nothing serious, which is good news for him and for us."

Oliver Younger, equally impressive at Fleetwood, will be on the sidelines for a longer spell.

He is expected to be absent for up to six weeks, but Parkinson has assured him that he can play a part when fit.

"Oliver we're looking at four to six weeks," Parkinson said.

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"He's been very impressive since he's come on board with us.

"It is a blow for him, but it happens and I've seen enough now from training with us and the U23 games to suggest that he can play a part."

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