It seems that both Sunderland and Charlton Athletic have major injury issues ahead of our season opener on Saturday. Jack Ross said: "Obviously Aiden and Duncan [are out], the longer term ones. Reece James is still not ready although he is edging back to fitness after missing a lot of pre-season. Tom Flanagan will probably miss out as well because he picked up an injury in training which we are assessing the seriousness of. He got a knock just below his knee and it's a sore one. Ethan Robson will hopefully train on Thursday which means he will be available. We're low on numbers but bringing a couple of new players in has helped us to a degree. [McGeouch] is doubtful. We’ve not given up hope of him being available but there’s a balance between pushing him hard for this weekend and risking him for longer. That’s not been decided either way but it’s a decision to make. We need him for a long season. Ideally, I'd like to go into the first game of the season with everyone available but that won't be the case, although I think Charlton are in the same boat. I probably know the majority of my team but again that’s been challenged by adding to the squad and unfortunately, we’ve picked up those couple of injuries. That’s part of the challenge of being the manager because in the run up to the Middlesbrough game I probably was quite settled, but these challenges have arisen. We probably won’t settle on it until towards the end of the week."
Ross gave more detailed info on McGeady, who pulled his calf over the summer, before returning to pre season training. He added: "Aiden had a bit of a setback on his calf injury at the end of last week and he had some work done on it yesterday to try and settle it down. We will assess him again in 10 days and see whether he needs any more work or whether he is able to kick-on. It has been really frustrating for him because he hasn't been involved in any sessions since day one of pre-season. He has undoubtedly got masses of quality and he will be an asset for us. It's frustrating for him but hopefully we will get to the bottom of it, whether that takes 10 days or two or three weeks we will get to that end point soon and he will be back available."
In more positive news, Lamine Kone is in France having loan talks with RC Strasbourg and Stewart Donald has given an update on the shipping out the high earners. The chairman said: “Well, it has been reported in France that Kone is going over to France to meet Strasbourg on Wednesday. There are some players that don't want to be there, it is trying to get those players out on the right basis for the football club. To be fair, there is a desire for them all to leave from themselves and there are clubs that are interested in them. I think they had a view that they would just be able to leave because it is League One but some of those players have a value and to be fair to Sunderland, we need to try and realise that value. We are almost there with that, it has been a big job over the summer. Basically, there are three or four we need to deal with and I would be surprised if come the window, not the loan window, but the transfer window, I would be surprised if there was more than one of those left. I think we are very close on them now. If we'd ended up with all of the players we inherited we would have found that extremely tough, the playing budget would have been £24m without any signings. For League One that is not sustainable, with parachute payments or not, you just can't function that way. £24m before you sign a player is just too much but the work we have already done and the work that will happen over the next seven to 10 days we will be much, much healthier."