Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson confirms major injury blow

Sunderland will be without Conor McLaughlin for their play-off semi final second leg against Lincoln City on Saturday, while Denver Hume is also now a major doubt.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 10:56 am
Conor McLaughlin has suffered another serious injury

Hume had to be withdrawn ten minutes into the 2-0 defeat at the LNER Stadium, replaced by Callum McFadzean.

McLaughlin, meanwhile, suffered a stress fracture to the back in the build up to the game.

The Northern Ireland international had only just returned from a second hernia operation.

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Lee Johnson s tenure as Sunderland head coach has been blighted by serious injuries in defence and the pattern has continued into the closing stages of the campaign.

"Denver has a hamstring injury," Johnson said.

"It's disappointing, and it's happened on too many occasions to different players this season.

"It’s been like that for the last three months. We can’t do much about that, we’ve just got to get on with it.

"Callum has been a consistent part of the way we play, and he brings different attributes. That’s just something we’ve got to deal with going into the next game."

McLaughlin's injury forced Johnson's hand in bringing Tom Flanagan back for his first start since the Papa John's Trophy final, with Luke O'Nien returning to right-back.

Johnson doesn't want his side to 'chase' the game on Saturday but admits he will be forced to field an attacking side.

"Conor is out for the season with a stress fracture of the back," he said.

"So we've got what we've got.

"The one thing I will say is that we can be very attacking, that's for sure, and we'll have to be."