Lee Johnson provides important injury update following Charlton Athletic loss
Lee Johnson says attacking midfielder Alex Pritchard has a ‘50-50 chance’ of being involved against QPR this week.
The Wearsiders face the London club after victories over Port Vale, Blackpool and Wigan Athletic in the Carabao Cup.
The clash will take place at Loftus Road on Tuesday with a place in the quarter-final up for grabs.
Sunderland have struggled with injuries recently with Nathan Broadhead Niall Huggins set to definitely miss out.
Pritchard, however, has a chance of making the clash against the Championship outfit after featuring against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
The 28-year-old former Tottenham player signed for Sunderland on a free transfer during last summer’s window.
The attacker battled back to start for Sunderland from a neck injury that forced him off during the previous game against Crewe.
Speaking to safc.com, Johnson said: “The 50-50 shout is Alex Pritchard.
“His neck still hasn’t quite recovered, so he might be available again but he did well to start on Saturday because he played through the pain barrier.”
Frederik Alves, Corry Evans and Lynden Gooch returned to the squad for the loss against the Addicks last weekend and could feature against QPR.
Johnson continued: “Apart from that it is relatively clean bill of health, but obviously Elliot [Embleton] is suspended, Jordan [Willis] remains out and Arbenit [Xhemajli] is continuing his recovery.
“They [the players returning] have another three or four days under their belts and there was a few more minutes for some of them on Saturday.
“Six or seven of them have taken two steps back in their fitness levels - not as in lungs, but match fitness - and that’s where we can use the amount of games as a positive, especially in the Carabao Cup where you have the opportunity to have up to nine subs and use five of them.
“That could play a big part in the rounds moving forward and as the lowest ranked team in the competition, that may make it a little more difficult for us, but at the same time we think we have good changes that we can make as well.”