April 13, 2024

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray has said Aji Alese and Timothee Pembele are ‘not too far away’ in their injury recoveries.

Sunderlabnd defenders Alese and Pembele have both had chances limited by injuries this season, but it seems that the clouds could be clearing and matchday involvements might not be far away for the sidelined pair.

22-year-old Alese – bought from West Ham last summer – is yet to make an appearance this season.

Fellow defender Pembele hasn’t featured for the Wearsiders either after his summer arrival from French glamour side Paris Saint Germain. The 21-year-old former PSG right-back is still recovering from a knee injury. However, an encouraging update has now emerged from Sunderland boss Mowbray.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, he had this to say on Alese:

“With Aji, we’ve put him with the U21s for a week or so, just so that he can build up in terms of the intensity. He’s been out for a long time so we have to be careful putting him back into first-time training.

“He’ll train with the U21s for a little while so he can work his way in and build himself up. Then in a week or so when he feels really confident and comfortable, he’ll come back and train with us. So he’s not too far away.”

There was also positive comments on summer signing Pembele. Mowbray said:

“Pembele was out on the grass yesterday, doing just some work with the physio. Sidefoot volleys, running round the cones, those kinds of things.

“Again, that’s telling me that he’s not too far away.”

Injuries heading in right direction

With Alese and Pembele’s injury woes seemingly heading in the right direction, this can only be good news for Sunderland fans. The Black Cats currently sit 6th in the Championship table on 26 points. It is a precarious 6th place though, with four teams hanging on their tail and just a win shy of overhauling them.

Having confirmation that Alese and Pembele are not that far away from full recovery means greater confidence from supporters that the squad will be stronger at a vital part of the season.

Games come thick and fast around and over the Christmas period. Having depth in a squad is often vital at this point of the season. Alese and Pembele coming back from injury in the near future would be a welcome boost.

Sunderland had plenty of injury problems last season and while it hasn’t been quite as tough this time around, Mowbray has still had plenty of players he’s not been able to call upon. Things seem to be clearing up though, with Alese and Pembele among those on the mend.

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