Sunderland boss reveals the game Everton striker Ellis Simms should return for Cats

Sunderland may only have to play one more full game without a recognised striker as Ellis Simms nears the final stages of his injury rehabilitation.

Simms has been absent since the 3-0 win over Reading after suffering ligament damage in his toe, but has now been in light training for a week.

Head coach Tony Mowbray says he will rejoin full training on Monday, potentially clearing the way for him to play some part against Luton Town next week.

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"Ellis won't make the bench for Saturday," Mowbray said.

"We're hoping that he'll join the group for training starting Monday. He's been on the grass in his boots for a week now, but in a controlled environment with the physios.

"The uncontrolled stuff, when he's just joining in with the players and he's not being careful with his twisting and turning or anything, starts Monday.

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"That'll be the final test for him and if he overcomes that he should potentially be available for the trip to Luton - that's the trip that we should be aiming for I think.

"We've spoken a lot with Ellis and player welfare will always be at the forefront. We need him back but the right thing to do is to go through with the processes. If he gets through a full week of training then he could be ready to make the bench or even a start knowing that he won't then complete 90 minutes.

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Sunderland striker Ellis Simms

"But we won't take risks - we have a long way to go this season and we need Ellis to be fit for most of it."

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