Sunderland are set to be handed a welcome injury boost, with the news that Denver Hume is edging closer to a return to action.
Hume has been ruled out of action since December 2020, after being forced off after 32 minutes during their match against Wigan Athletic with a hamstring injury, in a game they went on to lose 1-0.
But the Chronicle Live are now reporting that Hume is likely to make his return from an injury lay-off in a friendly match this week.
Sunderland’s assistant head coach Jamie McAllister has recently revealed that Hume is ‘training well’ and is ‘not far away’ from a return from a lengthy injury lay-off.
“Denver has been training really well, he looks good and looks strong, and he’s not far away.
“He’s close, but he has been out for a while and he does need minutes. Whether we do that with in-house games, or try and arrange a game for next week which we are trying to do, or whether he gets some minutes for the U23s against Palace next week, they are all options we are looking at.”
It remains to be seen as to whether he’ll be thrown into the first-team fold soon though, as it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Lee Johnson ease him back into action slowly to avoid a reoccurrence of any injury.
Sunderland have been in impressive form of late, and are unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions, which includes a win over Tranmere Rovers in the Papa John’s Trophy final at Wembley.
Johnson’s side were forced to settle for a point in their most recent match though, as they drew 1-1 with promotion-chasing rivals Lincoln City at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
The Black Cats now find themselves sat third in the League One table, and just two points adrift of the automatic promotion places, as they head into their final 11 matches of this year’s campaign.
Sunderland are set to return to action this weekend, when they take on struggling Bristol Rovers, in a match they’ll be confident of picking up another three points from.
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His return to the side has come at the ideal time.
Lee Johnson will be hoping that he can have depth to call upon heading into a season-defining part of their season, and Hume will certainly provide them with that.
It’ll be interesting to see if goes straight back into the starting XI though, with Johnson already having some strong options available to him in similar positions.
It’s the ideal dilemma to have for a manager though, as you want all your players playing to the best of their ability heading into the promotion run-in, as they compete for a place in the starting XI.