Lee Johnson's message for Jordan Willis after Sunderland star suffers injury setback
Sunderland defender Jordan Willis could face another year on the sidelines after suffering a setback in his recovery from a major knee injury.
Willis was initially ruled out for six months in February after rupturing his patella tendon early in the 2-1 defeat to Shrewsbury Town.
That tendon had been causing him issues for a lengthy period of time and he had managed it through much of the first 18 months of his time at the club.
The 26-year-old has undergone further surgery on Wednesday, which will rule him out for nine to twelve months.
Sunderland have confirmed that the defender is contracted until the end of next season (the deal announced when he initially signed was due to expire this summer) and that they are committed to supporting him through his recovery.
Head Coach Lee Johnson said they will support the defender 'in any way we can'.
"First and foremost, we are here for Jordan on a human level – if he needs to reach out to anyone of us, we will help him as much as we possibly can," Johnson said.
"On a professional level, we are gutted because of what a good player he is and what he brings to the squad – on and off the pitch – in terms of personality and performance.
"We will support him in any way we can to get him back to his pomp as soon as possible.”
Willis has made 60 appearance across all competitions since joining from Coventry City in the summer of 2019.