Lee Johnson reveals the injured Sunderland ace who could return at Crewe

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Josh Scowen could return to the Sunderland squad for the trip to Crewe Alexandra this weekend.

Scowen missed the 2-0 win over Fleetwood Town with a slight hamstring issue but Lee Johnson is hopeful that the problem is not serious.

Johnson does not expect any other players to return as he looks to continue building on an encouraging run of form, meaning his defensive options do remain limited.

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The Sunderland Head Coach was boosted by the return of Oliver Younger to the squad on Tuesday night, but Tom Flanagan is not expected to be available until some time next week.

Sunderland midfielder Josh ScowenSunderland midfielder Josh Scowen
Sunderland midfielder Josh Scowen

"Tom Flanagan is probably a week away," Johnson said.

"Josh Scowen wasn't involved last night due to a slight niggle, it's just a tightness in the hamstring rather than a tear. He could return for the game against Crewe."

January signing Ross Stewart is nearing his debut as he steps up his recovery from a hamstring injury, but Johnson has vowed not to rush him with his other striking options in good form.

No side in the EFL has scored more goals in 2021 than Sunderland.

"Ross Stewart was on the grass today," Johnson said.

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"He was probably knocked back about two weeks in his rehab but while the team are doing well and we're scoring goals, he can progress at the rate required to come back fully fit and with no problems."

Johnson also had a positive update on two of his longer term injury issues.

Bailey Wright remains a fortnight away from a return but Johnson does believe that he will be in contention for the Papa John's Trophy final against Tranmere Rovers.

While Denver Hume remains some way from returning, Johnson is confident that he will feature at some stage in the promotion push.

"I do expect to see him again this season," Johnson said.

"He's in a good place.

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"It's very difficult to put a date on an injury like his, because there's so many factors in their recovery.

"He's very positive which is a credit to his mindset because its never easy having a recurrence of an injury like that. He's doing a bit of running and we'll just build him up as best as we can."