Sunderland AFC briefing: Cats sweat on winger's fitness, Fabio Borini on Italy return hopes, Lamine Kone declares himself fit

Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady.
Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady.
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Sunderland boss Simon Grayson is sweating over the fitness of Aiden McGeady ahead of Saturday's game against Sheffield United.

The winger will miss Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Serbia tonight with a hamstring injury.

The winger was a 61st minute substitute on Saturday evening as Martin O’Neill’s side laboured to a 1-1 draw against Georgia.

McGeady was ruled out of tonight's clash after having a scan on his hamstring, though he did take part in the pre-match warm up with the rest of the squad on Monday and Grayson will now have to wait on the player returning to Wearside to assess the damage.

The 31-year-old has been a key player for Sunderland since signing earlier this summer, and will be expected to play a key role in another hectic month of fixtures.

Sunderland play seven games before the next international break at the start of October.

Lamine Kone declares himself fit:

There was better news in defence though after Lamine Kone declared himself fit to return for the Ivory Coast tonight.

Kone, who remains a Sunderland player after deadline day passed without any bids for him, missed the win over Gabon at the weekend with no reason given for his absence for the World Cup qualifier.

The two sides meet again tonight and Kone has stressed he is ready and available to play.

"I’m ready to play this game," said Kone.

"If the coach allows me to play, I will be ready to fight against these Gabonese and get the three points. For Cote d’Ivoire, it will already be a good start for Russia."

Fabio Borini on why he opted to sign for AC Milan this summer:

Borini left Wearside for AC Milan following the club's relegation to the Premier League and he has been explaining the reasons behind his move, which is initially a loan with an obligation to buy.

He told the Italian press a key factor in his decision was to try and get back into the Italy squad.

Borini told Radio 105: "I’m feeling very good in Rossonero, I’m adjusting to a group with several nationalities.

"I felt I needed to go back to Serie A, also for my international chances. It’s much more complicated when you play abroad.

"There’s an incredible enthusiasm, it’s happy to see San Siro full. I’ve been a bit of a translator as I speak good English.

"Some of them are very young so I have to play a double role here, but that’s fine.

"The matches at Milanello? Sometimes you play to the death, it depends on what’s at stake. If we lose, we have to run more so the games in training become much more competitive.

"It’s also normal that training becomes more serious when you’re getting close to a game on Sunday.

"Pressure? I handle it easily, doing the things I usually do. I don’t read newspapers and live a normal life. When I get home, I’m able to unplug myself completely."