Sunderland boss gives this Alex Pritchard update after injury concern

Lee Johnson remains hopeful that Alex Pritchard has not suffered a serious injury.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 6:00 am

The 28-year-old had his most productive night in a Sunderland shirt yet as the Black Cats ran out 4-0 winners over Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday.

Pritchard, handed a major opportunity to impress due to Elliot Embleton's suspension, had a major hand in all of the first three goals.

But his night came to an end immediately after that third, the attacking midfielder signalling to the bench that he was need of substitution.

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Sunderland midfielder Alex Pritchard

Johnson said Pritchard was experiencing whiplash-type symptoms after a first-half challenge, and hopes that will alleviate with treatment over the next couple of days.

"As he went to break, one of their lads just sort of yanked him on the top of the head and it was a bit of a whiplash-type of injury," Johnson said.

"He was really, really, stiff at half-time and we tried to get some work into him but he only lasted 15 minutes or so in the second half.

"I don't think it'll be too bad, it'll just be a case of a muscle relaxant and trying to get the physio to get his fingers into it.

"I thought he was really good in the first half, and he has been good in the cups as well.

"In the league he hasn't quite had the flow he would want, but with Embo out there are three games for him there if he's fit and he was real good in the first one today."

Johnson had been boosted by the return of Aiden McGeady and Leon Dajaku to his matchday squad, and both were prominent figures in the win.

The head coach admits the Irish winger again played through the pain barrier to help his side.

"It wasn't an element of risk in terms of making the injury worse [picking him], it was a case of the pain management risk that was the key consideration," Johnson explained.

"We were able to take him off and look after him which was good, because he's going to have to go again on Saturday.

"He hasn't done loads of training recently, so it was important we just took care of him."

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