February 26, 2024

Although Bradley Dack and Adil Aouchiche are anticipated to miss Saturday’s visit from Norwich City, Tony Mowbray is optimistic that both players will return to action soon.

Dack was fully trained on Thursday, but Mowbray wants him to continue training for a longer amount of time after being sidelined for a while due to a hamstring issue.

Aouchiche, who missed the trip to Leicester City, remains sidelined but should be back in action soon – potentially when the Black Cats travel to Swansea City next weekend.

“They’re not bad injuries at all,” Mowbray said.

“Bradley is fine, it’s just that he’s needed to get up to speed having missed six weeks or however long it was with a hamstring injury. “He trained fully with us today, we just need him to train for a week, work hard and get right up to speed so he’s ready to play.

“Adil, the medical report tells me it’s one to two weeks so that’s not going to be a long problem.

“I think we’ll have the same group to select from on Saturday.”

Dennis Cirkin is likely to be in contention to return to the starting XI after making his return from a hamstring problem on Tuesday night, but Mowbray said he will manage carefully the minutes of those beginning to return to the fold.

“These players need game time, Dennis played 45 minutes in the U21s on Monday and then 30 minutes on Tuesday night. There’s a few players in that boat who played in the U21s on Monday and then came with us and got some game time the very next day.

“It’s a balancing act with these players in terms of getting them up to speed where they can play in the Championship. it’s not easy as putting players straight back in for 90 minutes, you’re putting them in jeopardy if you do that because it’s a different tempo in the Championship.

“But generally, I’m not moaning about injuries. We’ve got some pretty good players on their way back who will help us, as you saw with Dennis – giving us that balance with his natural left foot on that side.”

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