Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson has confirmed that Dion Sanderson has suffered an injury – but he’s hoping that the defender won’t be sidelined for the rest of the season contrary to initial reports.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee completed 90 minutes in the 2-1 away loss to Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night, but an issue has come to light since then and rumours have been swirling ever since.
The grapevine has said that the 21-year-old will be missing for the rest of the season, which would have been a huge blow to the Black Cats’ chances of automatic promotion, especially when they are already thread-bare in the centre-back position.
Australian international Bailey Wright has returned from his own injury problems to give the back-line a bit of a strengthening, but it’s now set to be weakened by Sanderson’s absence.
The problem isn’t as bad as it could have been, but if not managed right it could get worse and Johnson has confirmed that Sanderson will need to spend some time out of the team in order for his injury to heal.
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“He’s not going to be right in the short term,” Johnson said, per the Sunderland Echo.
“There’s no fracture but there’s a potential onset for a fracture, he’s been struggling the last couple of games and has shown his warrior spirit by playing.
“It got too much to be able to manage through therapy.
“He’s had a scan and that showed there was no stress fracture, but he’s going to need to some sort of rest and recuperation.
“Dion’s opinion matters too and he’s up for the fight, it’s a setback but it’s not [necessarily] fatal for the season.”
Whilst it’s still a negative that Sanderson is set to spend some time on the sidelines, there’s still positives to take out of this.
Johnson not ruling him out for the season could mean that should the Black Cats not make it up to the Championship automatically, Sanderson could return for the all-important play-off campaign should it get to that.
There’s a possibility though that results may suffer without Sanderson’s talents in the line-up – even though they’ve lost two in a row with him playing.
It’s a tough pill for Sunderland supporters to swallow, but they will have to hope Sanderson’s recovery is a quick one and that he can help them get over the line in some way, shape or form.