Triple fitness boost and an injury blow for Sunderland ahead of Coventry City game

Sunderland have been dealt a blow with Charlie Wyke still not yet fit enough to return from an ankle injury.
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The forward picked up the injury in Phil Parkinson’s first game in charge, the defeat at Wycombe Wanderers and hasn’t featured since.

With Marc McNulty missing the Gillingham defeat with a tight hamstring, Wyke’s ongoing absence has left Parkinson with a lack of forward options, relying on Will Grigg.

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Wyke returned to training this week and was running, sprinting and joining in drills but he still didn’t feel fully comfortable and Parkinson says he needs more time before a return to action.

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson.

Parkinson said: “Charlie is still not available, that is a blow, he has tried to push himself but the ankle is not quite ready.

“He is chomping at the bit to get out there. The ankle is not quite there. It had been a blow for us losing him but we are looking forward to when he comes back.”

Pressed on how long he’d be out, Parkinson added: “It is not quite healing as quick as we’d like.

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“We had a scan on him to make sure there is no hairline fracture, that came back clear. The doctor and medical team feel he needs more time to heal.

“Earlier in the week he was sprinting and finishing and joining in, that is how close he got, he just felt he was a little bit uncomfortable still.

“The doctor feels he needs a bit longer.

“There is so much of this season left.

“I want to make sure when they are back, him and Lynden Gooch, they are back and ready to come back.”

Meanwhile, Jordan Willis and Joel Lynch are both back fit and available for selection when Coventry City visit on Saturday at the Stadium of Light.

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Parkinson added: “Jordan Willis and Lynchy are back which is good news. They have both had injections, Lynch in his back for a nerve problem which he had been playing with, Jordan the same but in his knee.

“He looks a lot better this week. McNulty is still struggling, we have George Dobson back.”