Sunderland attacker Chris Maguire is likely to be fit to face his former club Oxford United on Saturday afternoon, but defender Joel Lynch will miss the trip to the Kassam Stadium, manager Phil Parkinson has revealed.
Maguire limped out of the Black Cat’s 3-0 win at home to Rochdale on Tuesday night with a dead leg, and it appears that is an issue the 31-year-old is expected to overcome in order to be available for the weekend.
Speaking about Maguire in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game, Parkinson was quoted by The Chronicle as saying: “Chris got a dead leg and there was no need for us to take a risk with him.
“He feels a lot better today and he will be pushing for a place at the weekend.”
Lynch meanwhile, has not featured since being knocked unconscious in a collision with Sunderland ‘keeper Jon McLaughlin in their defeat at Portsmouth at the start of the month, with the defender also damaging his ribs and knee in the incident.
It seems as though that damage will keep him out of Saturday’s game against The Us, as Parkinson went onto explain: “It’s Joel’s ribs that are more of a problem than anything else – the concussion is fine and his knee is fine.
“The issue is managing the pain he is getting from the ribs but I’m hoping that by Monday he will be back in full training.”
Elsewhere, it has been revealed that midfielder Elliott Embleton has suffered another setback on his road to recovery from a hamstring injury which has kept him out since September, with Parkinson adding: “Elliot has another setback.
“It’s not the original injury, the repair where he had the operation is fine, but there are other problems around that hamstring area which are a bit of a concern.”
Sunderland go into Saturday’s clash with Karl Robinson’s side fifth in the League One table, four points adrift of the play-offs, and six points ahead of their opponents, who occupy tenth spot in the current standings.
This does feel like a distinctly mixed bag for Sunderland.
Given his importance to the side as their top scorer, the fact that Maguire looks set to be available ought to be a big boost for the Blacks Cats, given the obvious attacking threat he poses.
The situation around Lynch is something of a concern, but having kept two cleans sheets in two games since his injury, Sunderland may still be confident of coping without the defender.
Elsewhere, that latest update around Embleton will obviously be frustrating for both club and player, who after so long on the sidelines, will surely be desperate to get back to action sooner rather later.