Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Burge out for several weeks as club continue to monitor his recent heart issues

Lee Burge is facing an extended absence from Sunderland action as the club continue to monitor his recent heart issues.

Burge underwent blood tests in the aftermath of his positive COVID-19 test, the results of which raised some concerns.

As a result the 29-year-old is facing a period of rest of around a month, after which he will undergo another round of tests.

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Sunderland are confident that the issue identified will clear at that point, and that the goalkeeper will make a full recovery.

Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Burge

"He has still got an issue,” Lee Johnson said this morning.

"It’s effectively a slightly inflamed heart. He’s going to have four or five weeks where he needs to keep his heart rate below 100, and then he’ll have tests again to check that hopefully it is fully back to normal.

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"He’s being looked after really well, we’ve flagged it up early so he can rest and he should make a full recovery, and we expect that very quickly."

Johnson has also hinted that his squad could be bolstered by Bailey Wright or Alex Pritchard, who missed the 1-0 win over Portsmouth due to calf strains.

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Pritchard is at this stage believed to be most advanced in his recovery.

"We’re looking good,” Johnson said.

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“We’re starting to get some players trickle back.

"We obviously still have those long-term injuries but we do have one or two on the way back.

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"Bailey Wright has been back on the grass this morning which is great, and Alex Pritchard is back in and about it which is very good indeed.

"We can go into this Bolton game boosted by two or three players.”