Chris Coleman says Duncan Watmore is in a good frame of mind on the long road back from a second cruciate ligament injury.
The 23-year-old forward suffered the devastating set-back in November just six games into his comeback from the original knee injury which had kept him out for 10-months.
Coleman is keen to keep Watmore involved in the first team picture and the forward travelled to Middlesbrough with the squad for the recent FA Cup defeat.
Watmore’s injury was a huge blow to Sunderland but Coleman believes he is in a positive frame of mind on the road back to fitness.
Coleman said: “Duncan came to the Middlesbrough game recently, which was the plan to bring him to some of the games and to keep him involved.
“That is important because he is out long-term. Duncan is a cracking kid, he really is a great boy.
“What would you give to have him with us? I’m not just talking about his ability but as a person too, he is a really good person, good kid. Sadly, sometimes that is how it works.
“He is okay though and is in a good frame of mind and he is chipping away at his rehabilitation work.”
Watmore won’t play again this season and is likely to be out injured until at least the Autumn.
Watmore suffered the injury in the 2-2 draw with Millwall, 24-hours before Coleman was appointed.
He had made his return from the first cruciate ligament injury against Preston North End in September and featured regularly under former manager Simon Grayson before suffering a recurrence of the same injury in the same knee.