Sunderland boss gives Jordan Willis update and reveals two new injury doubts

Aiden O’Brien and Luke O’Nien are doubts as Sunderland travel to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
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The Black Cats pair are the only fresh injury concerns for Phil Parkinson, who has Conor McLaughlin and Tom Flanagan available again after international duty.

Parkinson is set to make a late call on O’Brien and O’Nien’s involvement, as the Black Cats look to bounce back from a poor performance against MK Dons last Saturday.

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“Aiden O'Brien has a bit of tightness in his groin, but it's nothing serious,” Parkinson said.

Jordan Willis is likely to miss three weeks of action for SunderlandJordan Willis is likely to miss three weeks of action for Sunderland
Jordan Willis is likely to miss three weeks of action for Sunderland

Luke O'Nien took a whack a training, which is unfortunate, and we're going to have to wait and see how he is on Saturday morning. But it's certainly nothing to be overly concerned about.”

Parkinson confirmed that the Black Cats are expecting to be without Jordan Willis for three weeks, after the 26-year-old had an injection in his patella tendon.

Sunderland had delayed that move in order for him to feature against MK Dons last week.

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Willis had a similar injection this time last year, and the Black Cats boss is confident that he will return ‘absolutely flying’.

"Jordan had his injection on Wednesday,” Parkinson said.

“We sat down with the medical team at the start of the week and to get the best out of Jordan going forward, the feeling was that this was the right thing to do.

“We know we have Tom and Conor coming back into the squad, as well.

“Jordan will probably be out of contention for three weeks.

“If we can give him three weeks, then that will give us the biggest benefit going forward.

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“Even though I feel he's played well in the last couple of games, he's been playing with painkillers and he was struggling towards the end of the last game.

“We'll move forward without him and then we he comes back, we'll have a Jordan who is absolutely flying.”

Willis’ absence could present an opportunity to Wolves loanee Dion Sanderson, who has so far made just three appearances since his deadline day arrival.

Parkinson did not bring him into the side despite a number of defensive issues last week, but insists he is ‘ready and waiting’ when called upon.

“Dion is in the squad,” Parkinson said.

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"I think he's been in every matchday squad since he arrived apart from that first game, when I explained that Wolves wanted him to have a little longer to recover from a minor injury.

"He's ready and waiting for his opportunity.”

Parkinson also offered an update on Callum McFadzean, who looks set to miss out on a place in the matchday squad on Saturday.

McFadzean suffered a hamstring injury in the 2-1 Papa John’s Trophy defeat to Fleetwood Town, a game in which he had scored his first goal for the club and again impressed with his all-round play.

The left wing-back is back in training, but Parkinson says they will be patient with the 26-year-old.

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“Callum McFadzean has been out on the grass today, which is a little longer than we'd first anticipated, but equally we just want to make sure that he's right."

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