Sunderland boss reveals when ex-Bayern Munich goalkeeper Thorben Hoffmann will return

Thorben Hoffmann could return to the Sunderland squad this weekend.

Head coach Alex Neil says both Hoffmann and Lee Burge, who have been absent recently following COVID issues, are making encouraging progress in their recoveries.

Hoffmann returned to Germany to undergo some blood tests but is now back on Wearside and has been involved in training in the latter part of the week.

Hide Ad

While the visit of MK Dons to the Stadium of Light may come too soon for the 22-year-old, he will soon be available for selection either way.

Sunderland goalkeeper Thorben Hoffmann

"Thorben is fine," Neil said.

"He went to Germany to have some tests done, and the results of that were good.

Hide Ad

"He's been back in the building for a couple of days and has been involved in training.

"He's been in fine fettle, he's doing fine.

Hide Ad

"He's done a few sessions this week but obviously he had, probably about ten days where he wasn't active or was travelling.

"So that's one that we'll have to assess [ahead of the game]."

Hide Ad

Neil is also hopeful that Burge will soon be able to step up his recovery by returning to training in the near future.

Burge underwent tests in the aftermath of his positive test for COVID last month, the results of which raised some concerns.

Hide Ad

As a result the 29-year-old was told to undergo a period of rest, keeping his heart rate low before the situation was reassessed.

Sunderland's medical team are set to assess him further at the Academy of Light today [Friday] but are encouraged by his progress at this stage.

Hide Ad

"Lee is due in today just so that we can have the physios take a look and make sure he's OK," Neil said.

"As far as I'm led to believe, he's fine.

Hide Ad

"He had that inflammation of the heart that everyone is aware of, and I think he's just been resting up while we've been monitoring him.

"He's doing OK."

Hide Ad

Anthony Patterson has been a regular in Hoffmann and Burge's absence, with U23 goalkeeper Jacob Carney taking a place on the bench following his arrival from Manchester United last summer.