Sunderland injury news: Defender ruled out for the season
Sunderland have suffered a major injury blow.
Aji Alese has become the latest senior player to be ruled out for the rest of the season.
Alese was substituted at half time during the 5-1 defeat to Stoke City with a thigh complaint, and tests have confirmed that the problem will require him to miss the remaining 11 games of the campaign.
A Sunderland statement on Friday morning said: “Sunderland AFC can confirm that Aji Alese will miss the remainder of the season due to a thigh problem.
"The defender picked up the injury during Saturday’s defeat to Stoke City in the Sky Bet Championship.
"Wishing you a speedy recovery, Aji!”
Luke O’Nien reacts to Stoke City drubbing
O’Nien hopes Sunderland can learn from last weekend’s 5-1 defeat by Stoke as they look for a reaction away at Norwich.
Tony Mowbray’s side conceded four times in a dismal second half against The Potters, managed by former boss Alex Neil, as they suffered their heaviest defeat of the season.
The result means Sunderland have taken just one point from their last four games, yet O’Nien hopes the team can bounce back – just like last season when the side were thumped 6-0 at Bolton before winning promotion from League One.
"It was disappointing and tough for us to take but we've watched it back,” O’Nien told the club’s website when reflecting on the Stoke game. “We're working hard this week, we're learning from it, we're growing as a team and making sure we come back a better team.
"We had some big losses last year and we turned them into positives, we learnt from them and went on a good run. It’s important we learn from last year."