Donald Love has opened up about his injury hell after making his long-awaited comeback from a serious ankle injury.
The 24-year-old defender hadn’t featured for the Black Cats since September before returning for the Under-23 side at the Riverside last weekend.
Love had hoped to be able to make an impression on manager Jack Ross this season but injury has prevented him from having a significant impact.
And now Love has opened up about the serious injury which has restricted him to just four appearances before undergoing an operation at the end of last year.
Love made his first competitive start for over six months last weekend when he played the full 90 minutes for Sunderland’s Under-23 side against Middlesbrough.
The game finished goalless, with Love making a couple of forays forward from defence, and the full-back admitted after the game it was good to be back.
“I’ve played a few behind closed door games but it was good to get 90 minutes in the legs and hopefully I can push towards the end of the season,” Love told the Echo.
“I did it 20 minutes into the Charlton game, I did my ankle ligament, tried playing through it and it just wasn’t right.
“I ended up getting a ligament reconstruction which was frustrating, I tried to play through it and ended up deciding after three months I needed the op.
“It ended up being a lot longer than it should have been if I’d had it straight away but it’s my own fault for trying to play through it and hopefully I’m back now and have no problems with it.”
Sunderland have enjoyed a successful season so far and find themselves second with six games to go.
Could Love still play a part for Sunderland this campaign? “The team is playing well,” said the defender. “But it would be nice to be involved, you never know with injuries and stuff.”