Sunderland AFC news: Jack Ross explains Jack Baldwin's omission as he is handed striker boost

Jack Baldwin missed Sunderland's win over Gillingham
Jack Baldwin missed Sunderland's win over Gillingham

Sunderland continue their promotion push at Bristol Rovers on Saturday - and could be handed a boost ahead of the game.

Jack Ross was without striker Duncan Watmore for Tuesday night's clash with Gillingham, after the speedster had completed his first 90 minutes since returning from injury the prior week.

But the Sunderland boss is hopeful that he will recover in time to form part of his squad to travel to the South West.

"Duncan had a slight groin problem, we could have risked him," Ross said.

"All being well he will be back on Saturday in the squad."

Ross may have to do without Chris Maguire, though, after the 30-year-old was withdrawn early on at the Stadium of Light.

In what was his return to the starting line-up, Maguire lasted less than 20 minutes before he was forced to leave the field - with Ross explaining he will now be assessed ahead of the clash with the Gas.

“It was an impact injury to his calf, he was quite sore," he said.

"I thought he started really well, he is a bit sore. He will be assessed.

“Sometimes they can clear up quickly, we will have to wait and see.”

Ross also explained the absence of Jack Baldwin, who dropped out the squad entirely for the visit of the Gills.

The Scot confirmed that the defender was not injured, and was merely rested having racked up a number of minutes over the course of the campaign.

“Jack was just a rest, we took him out to give him a rest mentally and physically," Ross said.

“He has played a lot of minutes. Mentally it has been a big change for him this season, he has coped with it in the main really well.

"With the squad, I have the opportunity to do that and he will be the better for it.”