Edouard Michut: Sunderland boss reveals next steps for ex-PSG star

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray says that Edouard Michut is close to making his comeback from injury but has warned the PSG loanee that he might have to be patient in the short term.

Michut has been absent since sustaining a muscle injury while impressing from the bench in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town earlier this season.

Mowbray was on the brink of handing the French midfielder a start for the games that followed but that injury checked his progress.

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Michut could be involved when Sunderland travel to Hull City this weekend, though it could be more likely that he returns at some stage over the festive fixtures.

"Edouard has been in my office today - I think the second half of the season is going to be better for him," Mowbray explained.

"He's had a few knocks and niggles and he knows he has to be more robust, with the schedule here in the Championship we think the opportunities are going to be there so much more for him in the second half of the season.

"He has to be ready.

"He hasn't played for four or five weeks but he has been doing work on his own, in his own mind he's ready so it's just been about going through the [selection] process with him. I'm getting across him to that it's an unforgivable league, it's tough to go bang and straight into central midfield in this division with the kind of time out he's had.

Sunderland midfielder Edouard Michut

"He'll come to Hull with us and we'll see if he makes the squad. He has to be patient but I know the talent he has, it's very, very obvious when you watch him train. He's a very good footballer who was training with Messi and Mbappe a few months ago.

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"I have total respect for his talent, I just think he needs to train a bit more in my mind, build up that resilience for this division."

Michut has made four appearances since joining the club in the latter stages of the summer transfer window, but is yet to make his first start.

Another player who could be close to a return and a first start under Mowbray is Daniel Ballard, who has been absent since the third day of the season with a foot injury.

Ballard played over an hour for the U21s in a win over Reading on Monday and having reported no issues subsequently is closing in on his return.

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Mowbray says he will be cautious with the 23-year-old but having been impressed with his attributes both in training and while playing against Blackburn Rovers for Millwall last season, he is excited at the prospect of introducing him.

"Dan trained with us today [Thursday]," Mowbray said.

"He felt really good at Reading and so I don't think he is too far away, but of course we have to be careful with him. It's a decision "I'll make with him, I won't force it if he's uncomfortable and I won't hold him back if he's raring to go.

"It's exciting for us, he looks really powerful in training."