Sunderland striker Josh Maja provides fitness update ahead of Brentford clash

Josh Maja in action in pre-season.
Josh Maja in action in pre-season.
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Josh Maja felt no ill-effects after returning to action following a knee injury but admits he has to take his comeback slowly.

The 18-year-old is yet to make a first team appearance this term after injuring his knee in the friendly win over Bradford City back in July.

Maja scored in that game, his fourth of pre-season, and his lengthy spell out came as a blow to Simon Grayson with Sunderland struggling in the Championship.

But London-born Maja is back training now and made his return to action in the Under-23 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates on Monday.

“I’m buzzing to be back and it was good to get 60 minutes,” said Maja, who grew up as an Arsenal supporter.

“My knee felt fine and there were no problems, so I’m looking forward to the next game. I’ve got to take it slowly but as soon as I get my chance I’ve got to take it.

“It was a good experience and Arsenal were the team I supported as a boy, so it was special to play here in my hometown.

“And my family were all there to watch me as well.”

Maja burst onto the first team this summer, impressing Grayson in the opening friendly games of the pre-season programme until injury struck. With Lewis Grabban and Duncan Watmore also back from injury and Paddy McNair also playing against Arsenal, Grayson’s injury concerns have eased considerably.