Sunderland injury news: Tony Mowbray reveals yet more concerns - but there is one boost ahead of West Brom clash

Tony Mowbray is hopeful that Edouard Michut will return to the Sunderland squad this weekend but admits he has major problems at both ends of the pitch for what is a crucial game against West Brom.
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The Black Cats were rocked this week when Danny Batth became the latest player to be ruled out for the rest of the season with the knee problem that forced him off during the latter stages of the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town in midweek.

Mowbray has also revealed that Joe Gelhardt is managing an ongoing ankle problem that puts his involvement in some doubt. Luke O'Nien's wife is also due to give birth, meaning the club are putting contingency plans in place that will allow the defender to put family first if required.

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The head coach will again be relying on youth players to complete his squad, with some U18s who play a crunch game against Manchester City on Saturday set to be involved.

Sunderland midfielder Edouard MichutSunderland midfielder Edouard Michut
Sunderland midfielder Edouard Michut

Mowbray says he is confident his threadbare squad will continue to give a good account of themselves in spite of the issues, and has added that West Brom are facing some major headaches of their own.

Striker Daryl Dike has been ruled out for an extended period with an ankle, while a number of Carlos Corberan's midfielders are also set to be absent.

"Edouard has his first day of training back today which was good to see, and he trained well," Mowbray said.

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"I haven't made my mind up on the team yet and I told them that today, we rotated a few different things as we have to. Joe Gelhardt didn't train today because he's been managing an ankle problem for a week weeks to be honest, but we're hopeful that he'll train tomorrow and play a part.

"We've had five or six of the U18s up to train with us today because you need the numbers to try and practice what you're going to do in the game. We are utilising the youth teams a lot at this moment, which is a great experience for them. The U18s have got a massive game against Manchester City where they are going to try and win a league, and we'll have a couple who play in that game and come across to then join us at the hotel.

"It feels as if it's both ends of the pitch at the moment to be honest where we've got problems, but we've generally found a way to give a good account of ourselves this season and I'm sure we'll do the same."

Mowbray says that Dan Ballard could yet return before the end of the season if Sunderland remain firmly in the play-off race, but as of yet he has still not played any part in senior training.

"He won't be involved at West Brom," Mowbray said.

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"I've spoken to him today and that's not going to happen for this weekend, he might possibly have a few days of training before the next game but it's a daily assessment, so we'll have to see on that one."