Sunderland manager Lee Johnson is hopeful the injury suffered by Callum McFadzean during Tuesday EFL Trophy win over MK Dons is not serious, and says Jake Vokins could make his debut for the club at the weekend.
Having started last night’s quarter final clash, McFadzean was forced off less than half an hour into the game, with what appears to have been a groin issue.
However, Johnson seems optimistic that McFadzean will not be absent long-term, with Sunderland again take on MK Dons at the weekend, this time in League One.
Providing an update on the blow suffered by the left-back, Johnson told The Sunderland Echo: “Callum just felt his groin tighten.
“You can see the pitch is difficult. It’s quite firm just under that top inch of the surface, but the top inch is quite gunky and he just slipped as he sent the ball down the line.
“I don’t think it’s too bad, it’s just a bit tight, so we thought the best thing to do was to change it.”
If McFadzean is unavailable however, then Jake Vokins could be ready to fill the void on the left-hand side of the Black Cats’ defence.
The 20-year-old left-back has yet to make his debut for the club since joining on loan from Southampton late in the January transfer window, but it seems as though Johnson is ready to call on Vokins if necessary.
Discussing Vokins’ availability for Saturday afternoon’s match, Johnson revealed: “Jake is fit and ready to go. He couldn’t play tonight because he is cup-tied.
“With last Saturday, he’d obviously only been in for half a day. But he is ready to go and he has impressed us in training.”
Sunderland are currently sixth in the League One table, eight points adrift of the automatic promotion places.
This will surely be something of a relief for Sunderland.
Injuries meant left back was an area they needed to strengthen in the January transfer window, so had they been handed another setback in that position with McFadzean immediately after it closed, it would have been a blow for them.
However, it now appears as though that will not be the case, meaning the Black Cats do now have options in that position, with Vokins also apparently available.
It will therefore be interesting to see who Johnson chooses in that position on Saturday, although you would imagine there is an expectation for Vokins to be playing regularly over the coming months, since that was probably one of the reasons he was loaned out in the first place.