Duncan Watmore has finally made his return to Sunderland action this last few weeks, but he sat out the Accrington draw and could be a doubt for tonight.
Returning after some heavy injuries is never easy, though, and it might well be for the best that the Black Cats ease him back into the fray.
We caught up with Dean Ashton, then, to discuss the approach and how hard it is to get back up to speed.
He told us exclusively…
“It’s incredibly tough when you’re talking about a long-term injury especially.
“It’s trying to get your body back into it and so often you see players come back and they get niggling injuries – not even relating to the main one – so I think they’re absolutely doing the right thing by him by resting him.
“I think he’ll probably know now what he can and can’t do but he’ll just be delighted that he is back and whether they like it or not it’s the best thing for him.
“It’s actually quite refreshing though that they’re doing it because some players come back and you’re so excited to be back you don’t want to miss another minute because you’ve already missed so much.
“There’s got to be some sensibility there, though, from both the staff and the player to say, actually, the bigger picture is for me to be back properly and then next season to fulfil any games that are needed – not to rush back now.
“With them going for promotion they must be tempted to play him because he could be the difference but it’s refreshing to see them look after him.”
Watch EFL on Quest at 9pm every Saturday!