Sunderland injury news: Fitness update on Blackburn Rovers and Rangers target

Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray has provided an update on the fitness of Ross Stewart ahead of the World Cup break.

Dan Ballard, Aji Alese, Edouard Michut, Lynden Gooch and Stewart are still sidelined with injury, with the hope that they will return after the break.

And head coach Mowbray has provided an update ahead of the World Cup break.

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Sunderland travelled to Birmingham City on Friday night before a three-week Championship break in fixtures. Sunderland then host Millwall on Saturday, December 3.

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray.

Reflecting on Stewart’s return to training on the grass after his thigh injury, Mowbray said: “It’s nice to see. Ellis (Simms) has been back with his boots on and had three appearances now off the bench and then starting a game.

“I think he is still way short of the match fitness required to make a big impact on the team, other than the substitutes bench.

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“He is going to need some games to get up to speed. Ross might find the same scenario.

“I would hope that after this World Cup break that he will be back training everyday with the team and we’ll make assessments over whether he is available to start games or come off the bench and build him back up to what is required.”

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Stewart’s contract situation at Sunderland remains a significant talking point as negotiations continue over a new deal.

It’s been well documented the Black Cats have an option to extend Stewart’s current agreement by an extra 12 months, until the summer of 2024, yet it was hoped the frontman would sign a new long-term contract.