Sunderland have been handed an injury boost before they play Burnley at home in the Championship on Saturday afternoon.
The Lowdown: Gooch absence
Lynden Gooch was not in the squad in the Stadium of Light outfit’s 2-0 loss away at Blackburn Rovers in midweek.
Tony Mowbray confirmed after last weekend’s 2-1 win at home to Wigan Athletic that he picked up a foot injury which forced him to come off at half-time, and then miss the match against the Rovers.
The Latest: Injury update
Speaking to the media in his pre-game press conference on Thursday ahead of their match against Burnley, Mowbray has now confirmed that Gooch has ‘got a chance’ of making a return, adding that he is ‘hopeful’ after the 26-year-old joined training today:
“Lynden has got a chance.
“The hope is that he puts his boots on tomorrow and comes out to train.
“I think people wouldn’t question Lynden Gooch if he’s got half a chance to play. I’m hopeful but he hasn’t trained today. He’s probably still aware of his injury but the hope he has improving every day.
“We’ll see how he is on the grass tomorrow and hopefully he will be available.”
The Verdict: Big boost
It is certainly a big boost for Mowbray that Gooch has a chance of returning to the team so soon after injury.
Against Blackburn, they clearly missed him, as the American has been a key player for the Wearsiders this season.
Gooch had previously played in every match in the Championship, grabbing a goal and an assist as well as ranking highly among his team-mates for average tackles, clearances, dribbles, passes, crosses, long balls and through balls per game (WhoScored).
Nonetheless, the Black Cats are a better team with him in the mix, and if Gooch returns, it should give supporters more confidence that they can get all three points at home.