Sunderland boss reveals key man needs scan and is expected to miss Blackburn Rovers game

Tony Mowbray expects to be without Lynden Gooch when Sunderland face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Tuesday night.

Gooch was forced off at half time in the 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic after suffering a foot injury, and will undergo a scan on Monday.

The Black Cats are at this stage relatively confident that there is no significant damage but the 26-year-old was in significant discomfort over the weekend.

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“I don’t think Lynden’s going to be available, although it’s Lynden Gooch we’re talking about, so he might well come in and say he’s feeling great,” Mowbray said.

Sunderland striker Ellis Simms

“It’s not a really serious one, although I think he is going to get a scan today just because if he’s got discomfort, we need to make sure that it’s either nothing and something he can almost strap up and get on with, or if it is something more serious, we’ll be able to put a timescale on it.

“You always have to factor in the human being you’re dealing with, along with his pain threshold and how he deals with stuff.”

Gooch’s absence would likely bring Trai Hume back into the matchday squad, with Luke O’Nien deputising strongly in the right-back position in the second half on Saturday.

Corry Evans is available again after suspension, and Mowbray expects to otherwise be selecting from the same group of players.

While Ellis Simms will not be available, the head coach has been encouraged by the first stages of his recovery from a toe injury and is optimistic he could therefore be back sooner rather than later.

“He ain't far away, to be honest,” Mowbray said.

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“He hasn't joined in with the team yet but he's been on the training pitches and watching him the last couple of days, he's going box to box, doing little volleys and side-foot passes, a bit of twisting and turning as well.

“So it's telling me without sitting down with the physios that he's getting closer and closer.

“Fingers crossed that over the next few games at some point you see him on the bench and he won't be that far away.”