Sunderland are hopeful they will be able to make their return to action with a trip to Sixfields to face Northampton Town on the 2nd January, a report from The Northern Echo has claimed.
The Black Cats have been hit by a string of self-isolation issues in recent weeks, which forced them to call off games away at Shrewsbury, and at home to Blackpool and Hull over the festive period.
It was also subsequently announced that a fourth game, scheduled for the 29th December away at Accrington Stanley, has also now been postponed, although it seems Lee Johnson’s side may soon be able to return to the pitch.
According to the latest reports, Sunderland are now targeting their trip to Northampton on Saturday afternoon for their first game back after those issues.
It is thought that the club’s squad will be making a staggered return to training over the course of this week, with Johnson hopeful of having the majority of his players available by Thursday.
Once that happens, it is hoped that Sunderland could make their return this weekend, provided there are no signs of any after-effects of the recent issues.
Sunderland have dropped to 11th in the League One table since last playing, and are currently four points adrift of the play-off places.
This is certainly good to see.
Sunderland’s fixture congestion is bad enough as it is at the minute, so they are not going to be wanting to add any more games on to the list of those that already need to be rearranged, given the challenge that would present.
Indeed, the fact they are now making plans for a return sooner rather than later, also suggests that none of their players are suffering any major effects from these issues, and that will of course be the main concern for everyone in the current climate.