Why Ellis Simms stayed at Sunderland during injury setback as Everton loanee reflects on recovery process

Ellis Simms feels the upcoming World Cup break will give him a chance to regain his fitness following a frustrating injury setback.

The Sunderland striker, who is on loan from Everton, missed seven matches after sustaining ligament damage in his toe but has now started back to back games against Cardiff and Birmingham.

Simms scored the Black Cats’ opening goal in their 2-1 win over Birmingham and is just happy he can help the team again.

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“It’s frustrating, as a player you always want to play,” Simms told the Echo when reflecting on his spell on the sidelines.

“I’ve been trying to get back as quick as I can and help the team out.

“Some results have gone our way and some haven’t so we just have to stick together. Against Birmingham we had to stick together at the end and we came through and got the three points.”

While there were some suggestions Simms could return to Everton for his recovery, the striker stayed on Wearside to undergo his rehab.

“I stayed at Sunderland because I’m here on loan and wanted to feel part of the set-up and the team and stay with the lads,” Simms explained.

“When I’m fit I’d be joining back up with them so I think it was important for me to stay, and they have great facilities as well, so I stayed.”

Simms had formed a promising strike partnership with Ross Stewart in the early weeks of the season, yet the Scot has also been unavailable due to a thigh issue.

At times the pair have been training in the gym at the same time during their recovery sessions, while Black Cats boss Tony Mowbray has kept track of their situations.

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Asked about his conversations with Mowbray, Simms replied: “He was just asking me day to day how I was feeling and just the progressions really.

“Me and Ross have been out and there has been no real recognised striker, so for him he probably wanted a striker to come back quick to help the team.

“In the gym me and Ross are together and sometimes we do the same sessions.

“Sometimes I’ll do what I need and he’ll do what he needs because no specific injury is the same.

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“The injured lads are all kind of together and you are kind of at different stages as well.”

And while Simms is happy to be back in the side, he also feels the World Cup break could benefit Sunderland.

The Black Cats have three weeks without a league fixture, with several first-team players set to return from injuries for their match against Millwall on December 3.

“It will be nice to kind of have a little break, but coming off the back of this win there will be a bit of momentum there,” said Simms.

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“It gives us time for some of the injured lads to get back to full fitness, including myself.

“It’s nice in a way because we have never really had a break mid-season before so it will be good.”

“The World Cup is a massive competition and I’ll be supporting England all the way.”