Injured Sunderland trio face big battle to be fit for Everton trip

John O'Shea
John O'Shea

Injured trio John O’Shea, Ola Toivonen and Younes Kaboul are facing a battle to be fit for Sunday’s trip to Everton, but none are expected to be long-term absentees.

Sunderland’s derby victory against Newcastle United came at a cost, with O’Shea (hamstring) and Toivonen (groin) both forced off before half-time, while Kaboul was struggling with a calf problem in the closing stages.

The Black Cats will find out over the next few days the severity of the injuries, although initial estimates suggest they will only be briefly on the treatment table.

But Sam Allardyce fears they may struggle to feature in this weekend’s clash against Everton, as Sunderland eye a third successive win at Goodison Park.

“We’ll know more on John O’Shea when we can scan him,” said Allardyce.

“He feels it’s not a serious hamstring, more of a tweak.

“Hopefully that’s the same with Younes Kaboul and Ola.

“We’ll be lucky to get anyone back for next week, but hopefully they’ll only miss one game.

“Certainly from a defensive point of view, we’ve probably got enough centre-halves.

“But from a midfield point of view, we lose an important player.”

If first-choice centre-halves O’Shea and Kaboul are both out, Wes Brown is in line to make his first appearance of the campaign alongside Sebastian Coates.

But Allardyce will hope to have Fabio Borini available again after the Italian missed the derby with an ankle injury, while midfielder Jack Rodwell is also closing to returning to full fitness.