Sunderland injury news with Alex Neil sweating over fresh midfielder blow

Alex Neil admits Alex Pritchard's injury 'doesn't sound good' in what could be a major blow to Sunderland's play-off hopes.

Pritchard produced another strong performance in Sunderland's 0-0 draw with Charlton Athletic at the Valley, and could have had multiple assists.

But the 28-year-old hobbled off with just under 20 minutes to play after suffering a contact injury, and Neil says that he is concerned about the potential damage.

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Pritchard has been central to Neil's plans sice his arrival, with the pair having worked together previously at Norwich City.

Alex Pritchard suffered an injury against Charlton Athletic

"The biggest concern for me is Alex Pritchard, who has been fundamental for me since I came here," Neil said.

"His injury at the moment doesn't look good, so that is a concern.

"It just looked as if he rolled his ankle, we'll have to get a scan on it. But I've known Alex for a long time, and I've worked with him before.

"I asked him how he was, and it doesn't sound good."

Elliot Embleton, who produced a lively cameo after replacing Pritchard, could be in line to step into the starting XI for two crucial home games against Fleetwood Town and Crewe Alexandra next week.

Neil also issued an update on Leon Dajaku and Jermain Defoe, who were both absent from the matchday squad.

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"It's not a severe issue with Jermain, it's very slight but it was enough for him to be unavailable today.

"Leon was also out with an injury, just a niggle."

Danny Batth was again absent on on Saturday as he manages an ongoing ankle injury.