Sunderland hoping Aiden McGeady will be fit to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park
Jack Ross is hoping Sunderland will have Aiden McGeady back for their play-off semi-final second leg at Fratton Park.
The Republic of Ireland international pulled out of Saturday’s clash against Pompey after initially being named in the Black Cats' starting line-up.
McGeady, has been playing with a broken foot in recent weeks, taking injections to ease the pain.
However, he felt his injury in the warm-up and was replaced late on by Lynden Gooch in Ross’ side.
Sunderland delivered a 1-0 victory over the Blues, with Chris Maguire netting in the 62nd minute.
The Black Cats travel to the south coast for the return fixture on Thursday,
And McGeady, who has scored 14 goals this season, will be assessed by Sunderland’s medical staff before the crunch showdown.
Ross said: ‘Aiden has been playing with a foot problem for a while and he has been playing with the aid of injections.
‘He had a little bit longer rest period by missing the last couple of league games. He trained Friday, but for some reason the injections he has had prior to matches didn’t have quite the same effect tonight.
‘He wanted to give it as long as he could and he took part in the warm-up but it was still causing him a lot of pain.
‘I have a duty of care to him and I wouldn’t ask him to take any more injections because he deserves a lot of credit for what he has been prepared to do in the games thus far.
‘We will just see how he reacts over the next 24-48 hours.
‘He needs a prolonged period of rest and he will get that over the summer, we were just hoping to get him through to that point.
‘The pain has fluctuated so we won’t make any snap judgements on it.
‘We will look at it again and go from there.’
While Ross toasted Sunderland’s victory – their first over Pompey in four meetings this season – he knows there’s still plenty of work to be done in the second leg.
The Black Cats boss added: ‘I’ve had a huge amount of belief in them all season, I trust them.
‘This was their 59th game of the season and a lot of them have done well – I don’t care what anybody says, they have been good.
‘It was maybe fitting that in this last home game that they won it because they deserved to do that for what we have done this season and then in the latter part of it they showed the character and desire for the final 25 minutes because they have shown that in abundance this season as well.
‘We know there is a lot of hard work ahead of us to make sure we progress to the final of the play-offs but one hurdle has been overcome to and there is another big one to overcome on Thursday.’