When every injured Sunderland player is set to return after latest significant updates
Tony Mowbray has given an extensive Sunderland injury update
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Sunderland return to action at South Shields and Gateshead this weekend, so what's the latest on the injuries that had such an impact at the end of last season?
Here, we run you through the latest...
Both Kristjaan Speakman and Tony Mowbray have stated that they don't expect Ross Stewart to be fit to face Ipswich Town on the opening day of the season. The striker is making good progress in his recovery but has not yet rejoined his team mates for training.
That could potentially happen later in pre-season but it will then obviously take a longer period for the Scot to be ready for regular competitive football.
Sunderland would therefore ideally like to recruit another striker to ensure the burden on new signing Hemir is not too great at the start of the campaign.
The midfielder will not be fit to start the season given the severity of the ACL injury he suffered in July.
Dan Neil did an excellent job covering in that holding midfield role but Sunderland will surely be looking to add additional cover.
Alese is not expected to be on the club's pre-season tour of the US, with Mowbray conceding that he was 'quite a way away' from returning from the thigh injury that sidelined him for much of the second half last season. Alese underwent surgery at the start of the summer to try and sort the issue for good and is now back at the Academy of Light to step up his recovery.
At this stage, his return looks highly likely to be after the Championship campaign has begun.
Embleton is making very encouraging progress one of the players closest to a comeback, with Sunderland pencilling in the final game of the US tour as a possibility.
With two friendlies in the north east to follow, he would have a chance to be part of the squad against Ipswich Town.
Embleton will face significant competition for places this season but his goal contribution record before suffering that leg break at Hull City was good and he brings real versatility.
Sunderland are similarly upbeat about Cirkin, with Mowbray telling club media over the weekend that the defender was 'not far away at all'. That would be a huge boost, as given Alese's longer recovery.
Seelt is on Wearside after completing a move from PSV Eindhoven but as of yet is not in full training as he has a minor ankle injury.
It's not expected to keep him out for an extended period at this stage, and as such there's every chance supporters could see him in action later in the pre-season programme. As of now, he could still have a chance of being fit for opening day, depending on how his issue clears in the coming weeks.
Triantis picked up a minor knock on Australia U20 duty before completing his Wearside switch earlier this summer, but he is expected to be fully fit and ready to join his new team mates when he returns from a slightly extended summer break. He seems certain to travel to the US and feature there.
DAN BALLARD, DANNY BATTH & NIALL HUGGINS
All three have been fit to start pre-season and should therefore feature at some stage in the first friendlies this weekend.