Sunderland suffer another defender injury blow as timescale revealed

Aji Alese has been ruled out of action until after the World Cup break.

Alese has been a key part of Tony Mowbray's side since making his full league debut at Reading last month, but was hurt after a late challenge midway through the second half at Ewood Park. The defender initially tried to rejoin the game but it quickly became clear that he was in too much discomfort to do so.

The former West Ham youngster currently has his ankle in a protective boot and while a scan has shown that the damage is not as severe as Mowbray initially feared, he is highly unlikely to feature before the Championship breaks for three weeks next month.

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The head coach hopes that break will give him time to recover fully before Millwall’s visit to the Stadium of Light on December 3rd.

Mowbray said: “He has had a scan and it’s not as bad as we first feared, because it looked a really bad when you watch it back on the video. He’s taken a real, heavy kick and then twisted his ankle.

“So he’s in a protective boot to stop him causing any further stress to the area. At the moment it looks the like best-case scenario for us is three to four weeks, which takes us into the World Cup break. Hopefully he can get himself fit during that period. It’s a shame for him and the team – he’s been magnificent really.”

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The Sunderland head coach does hope that Lynden Gooch will be available to face Burnley on Saturday.

Sunderland defender Aji Alese