Sunderland AFC news: Portsmouth suffer setback ahead of Wembley final as Walsall midfielder piles pressure on Cats
Portsmouth face an anxious wait to see if winger Ronan Curtis will be available for the Checkatrade Trophy final.
The 22-year-old missed Pompey's 3-2 League One win at Walsall on Tuesday night after trapping his finger in his front door.
Curtis, who has scored 11 league goals this season, had to undergo plastic surgery after the accident, which could rule him out for up to six weeks.
"It was quite a bad injury, his finger had to be sewn back on after part of it was hanging off," Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett told BBC Radio Solent."It will be painful for him with that sort of injury The plastic surgeon has done a very good job to help but he will see a specialist on Friday and hopefully he can go from strength to strength."
Curtis now faces a race against time to be fit for the Checkatrde Trophy final against the Black Cats on Sunday, March 31.
Sunderland have also suffered an injury blow ahead of the final after forward Duncan Watmore was ruled out for eight to 12 weeks with an ankle injury.
The Black Cats have received an injury boost ahead of Saturday's clash with Walsall though, after defenders Tom Flanagan and Reece James returned to training.
Both missed Tuesday's goalless draw at Barnsley but could return to face the Saddlers, according to manager Jack Ross.
But while Sunderland and Walsall are fighting at opposite ends of the table, Saddlers midfielder George Dobson isn't worried about Saturday's opponents.
Walsall, who are 19th in the table, have played Sunderland three times this season but haven't lost to the Wearsiders.
Dobson is therefore feeling confident ahead of the fixture at the Stadium of Light but still believes Sunderland are the favourites.
“In this league anyone can beat anyone,” said the 21-year-old.
“We have played Sunderland three times this season and haven’t lost yet. We’ve got nothing to fear.
“It’s going to be a great occasion. We will be playing in front of a lot of fans. Hopefully that gives us an extra incentive to put in a really strong performance.
“It’s going to be a tough game – their budget is ridiculous compared to ours. But you can’t fear anyone and we definitely won’t be fearing them."