Promotion rivals Sunderland sweating over injuries ahead of Portsmouth showdown

Sunderland boss Jack Ross. Picture:
Sunderland boss Jack Ross. Picture:
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Sunderland have picked up new injury worries ahead of the promotion clash with Pompey.

The Black Cats closed the gap on Kenny Jackett’s side to four points with a weekend win over Bristol Rovers.

They can now leapfrog the Blues if they win their two games in hand, adding another angle to next Saturday’s meeting at Fratton Park.

Keeper Jon McLaughlin was taken off with 15 minutes remaining on Saturday, while defender Reece James picked up an injury in the warm-up.

Defender Tom Flanagan missed the game after picking up an injury against Walsall in his side’s previous outing in mid-week.

Ross is staying positive over the players returning for the high-flying clash.

Ross told the Shields Gazette: ‘Jon is OK.

‘He suffered a back spasm early in the half and it is one where he could possibly have continued but he is experienced enough and sensible enough to realise that it might have affected his ability to make a save in the game.

‘I think with injuries like that it was the right thing to do for him to come off.

‘Again, I’m hopeful it won’t rule him out for too long.

‘Tom got a knock against Walsall and he has taken a bit longer to recover from it than we thought.

‘I would be hopeful that he will have a chance for next weekend, although it is not definite.’