Sunderland's Jack Ross reveals the issue behind Jon McLaughlin injury and his chances of facing Portsmouth

Jon McLaughlin.
Jon McLaughlin.

Jack Ross hopes that Jon McLaughlin's injury isn't bad enough to rule him out of next weekend's huge League One clash with Portsmouth.

The Black Cats goalkeeper was forced off with 15 minutes left against Bristol Rovers as Sunderland held on for a 2-1 win.

That result puts them five points behind leaders Portsmouth, with two games in hand, after Pompey were held to a 1-1 draw at Barnsley.

Ross is hopeful that key man McLaughlin will recover in time for the trip to the South Coast after suffering from a back injury against the Pirates.

McLaughlin was replaced by Robbin Ruitter for the latter stages at the Stadium of Light but could have stayed on the pitch, according to Ross, which gives him confidence that the Scotland international should be OK to face Pompey.

Ross said: “Jon is OK. He suffered a back spasm early in the half and it is one where he could possibly have continued but he is experienced enough and sensible enough to realise that it might have affected his ability to make a save in the game.

“I think with injuries like that it was the right thing to do for him to come off.

“Again, I’m hopeful it won’t rule him out for too long.”

Ross is also confident that defenders Reece James and Tom Flanagan will be back for the trip to Portsmouth after they missed yesterday's game.

James picked up an ankle injury in the warm-up and was replaced by Bryan Oviedo, while Flanagan was ruled out following an injury in midweek against Walsall.

“Tom got a knock against Walsall and he has taken a bit longer to recover from it than we thought.

“I would be hopeful that he will have a chance for next weekend, although it is not definite.”