Medical team puts block on Sunderland star Jordan Pickford making Southampton comeback
Pickford had been in stunning form for Sunderland after breaking into the first team until he picked up a knee injury in the Boxing Day defeat to Manchester United.
The England Under-21 international was initially ruled out for six to eight weeks but Washington-born Pickford has been working hard and has now returned to full training at the Academy of Light.
But manager David Moyes has revealed the club's medical staff are keen for Pickford to complete the time the surgeon originally said for his recovery so he won't be rushed back.
Washington-born Pickford's return is likely to come against Everton at Goodison Park at the end of February.
Sunderland host Southampton tomorrow but Vito Mannone, who has kept back-to-back clean sheets, will remain between the sticks.
Moyes, speaking at his pre-match press conference, said: "Jordan is back but the medical team want him to complete the time the surgeon said for his recovery.
"He won't be involved."