Sunderland manager Simon Grayson says Lee Cattermole is ready to play against Norwich, and gives injury updates on Josh Maja and Bryan Oviedo
Lee Cattermole will be back for Sunderland’s trip to Norwich City on Sunday, says Simon Grayson.
The Black Cats’ inspirational midfielder suffered a fractured nose in the pre-season defeat against Celtic and, while the problem did not prevent him turning in a man-of-the-match display in the Championship season-opener against Derby County, he sat out the midweek Carabao Cup game at Bury.
Grayson says he always intended to rest Cattermole for the cup game, and that meant it was an ideal time for the 29-year-old to have his nose re-set.
But Cattermole was back in training this morning and he will be available at Carrow Road.
“Cattermole has done some work this morning, so he’s fine for Sunday’s game,” said Grayson .
“He fractured his nose against Celtic, and it needed looking at. He was never going to play at Bury, so it was the right time to have his nose sorted.”
Striker Josh Maja picked up a knee injury in pre-season and has yet to figure, but Grayson says the teenager will be assessed over the next 24 hours before a decision is taken on whether to include him in the squad this weekend.
Sunderland U23s begin their Premier League 2 campaign at home to Tottenham Hotspur this evening at Eppleton (7pm) and several first-teamers will be given a run-out.
Left-back Bryan Oviedo will make his comeback after suffering a calf problem while playing for Costa Rica in the Confederations Cup, while new Dutch goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter will start.
Grayson says a couple of other players who were on the bench will also be involved, which could see the likes of Jack Rodwell and Donald Love given a run-out.
Grayson said: “One or two will be considered for the weekend will get some game time tonight.
“Oviedo will play, some of the lads who were on the bench last night will get some game time. It’s not ideal playing in 48 hours’ time, but it is worth getting them some match practice.
“As for Robbin, it was a close decision last night whether to play him or Jason Steele, but we wanted to keep giving Jason that base to play off.
“We also want some competitive for Robbin, it’ll be his first 90 minutes in a couple of weeks.”
Papy Djilobodji, who has been left out of the squad altogether for the first two games of the season, will also be given some game-time for the U23s.
On Djilobodji absence at first-team level, Grayson added: “He’s available, we just think that two centre-backs plus John O’Shea are in a better position at this moment in time.