Sunderland youngster gives fitness update after prolonged lay-off

Maja played a starring role in pre-season
Maja played a starring role in pre-season
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Josh Maja says he is nearing a return to full fitness after a long lay-off with his knee.

Maja was the star of Sunderland's early pre-season campaign, before injury forced him off during a 3-2 win at Bradford.

He made his much awaited comeback for the U23's against Arsenal last month but had to pull out of a game with Everton days later after feeling his knee in the warm-up.

The 18-year-old hopes to be back in action soon and is aiming to pick up where he left off.

He told safc.com: "It has been very frustrating because of how well I did in pre-season.

"I put a lot of work in over pre-season, I worked hard but hopefully I can return to full fitness and get a chance in the first team.

"I am feeling better, each day I feel stronger and my knee is feeling much better so hopefully it won’t be too long now before I can get some game time.

"It is a big opportunity, but I need to take it," he added.

"I want to stamp my authority in the first team and get back to how I was playing in pre-season because I was scoring goals and playing well.

"I need to prove the quality I have again and again, hopefully I can get myself on the teamsheet when I am back."