Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill is expecting injured duo Steven Fletcher and Danny Rose to be fit for tomorrow’s visit to Saints.
Top-scorer Fletcher, who has seven goals this season, was forced off in last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester United after suffering a back injury.
Full-back Rose failed a late fitness test ahead of that match, due to an ankle problem, but is in contention for tomorrow’s contest at St Mary’s.
“Fletcher and Rose have done a bit of work,” said O’Neill. “They are improving. It would be good if they are available.
“Danny’s was just a matter of time. He failed a fitness test last week.
“Steven’s was a new injury so you’re never sure. In the warm-up he just twisted something.
“He came in early from the warm-up to get some treatment, but he was uncomfortable.
“But the injury news is certainly brighter than it was last Saturday afternoon.”
Meanwhile, England winger Adam Johnson has improved after suffering against Manchester United with the after-effects of the dead leg he sustained against Reading.
O’Neill, who also hopes to have full-back Phil Bardsley available after minor knee ligament damage, added: “Adam trained yesterday and had no complaints. It’s a few days on and he’s improved.”
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