Sunderland injury news: This is why Thorben Hoffmann and Lynden Gooch missed Cheltenham Town

Sunderland are waiting for the results of blood tests after Thorben Hoffmann missed the defeat to Cheltenham Town through illness.

There had been speculation throughout Tuesday as to the cause of Hoffmann's pending absence from the game, but interim manager Mike Dodds said that he does remain with the club.

Dodds also confirmed that Lynden Gooch' s absence was due to a minor calf problem.

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"Thorben has not gone back to Germany, I can confirm that," Dodds said.

Sunderland goalkeeper Thorben Hoffmann

"We felt that Anthony Patterson had trained really, really well so I don't want to take the focus away from him, an academy boy who had earned that opportunity to play and who deserved the opportunity to play.

"Unfortunately Hoff he has been for some blood tests, and we're just waiting on the results of that.

"Lynden picked up a little bit of a knock in Saturday's game," Dodds said.

"He trained on Monday but it was still feeling tight, so we decided to leave him out."

Dodds also defended the late introduction of Jermain Defoe in the 2-1 defeat, saying that the club have to protect him from injury in the early stages of his return.

"I totally understand the clamour for Jermain, because he has got quality," Dodds said.

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"But he has only played nine minutes of football so far this season. We have a duty of care to him, to get him up to speed.

"We've got to be very careful with him, that we don't throw him in too quickly, too early, otherwise he will be at risk of getting injured. That's the reality.

"There's got to be a level of protection around him."