Sunderland hit by ANOTHER injury blow ahead of Burnley

Sunderland face an anxious wait to determine if Aji Alese has suffered any significant damage after being forced to withdraw from the 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers with an ankle injury.

Alese has been a key part of Tony Mowbray's side since making his full league debut at Reading last month, but was hurt after a late challenge midway through the second half at Ewood Park. The defender initially tried to rejoin the game but it quickly became clear that he was in too much discomfort to do so.

It is too early for the Black Cats to know the extent of the problem but head coach Tony Mowbray said the 21-year-old was in a lot of pain after the game.

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"Aji looked in a lot of discomfort after the game, lying on the bed with a big pack of ice around his foot," Mowbray said.

Sunderland defender Aji Alese

"I’m hoping it’s [just] a kick, but I think he might have twisted it in the challenge as well. He’s pretty upset about it – he thought it was a really bad tackle. We’ll have to see. If it needs a scan, we’ll get a scan. It needs to settle down first, then we’ll see what the aftermath of it is."

Sunderland boss Mowbray also gave an update on Lynden Gooch, who was not in the starting XI for a Championship game for the first time this season on Tuesday night. Gooch was withdrawn at half time of the 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic on Saturday with a foot problem and while the head coach is hopeful that he will be able to face Burnley this week, he remains a doubt.

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“Lynden was struggling to walk without limping, he didn’t travel because he couldn’t even walk properly," Mowbray said.

"I don’t think there’s any lasting damage – I think he might have half a chance for the weekend – I think it was just a really severe bone bruising that was really painful. But let’s see. I think he should be alright for the weekend, yet he was hobbling pretty badly yesterday so we didn’t even put him on the squad list.”