July 21, 2024

Corry Evans hasn’t played for Sunderland in almost a year, but he’s still not back in training with the first team and won’t be available for selection until the middle of February at the earliest.

The 33-year-old suffered a catastrophic knee injury in a home win over Middlesbrough in late January of last year.

He’s already back in light training with the club’s medical staff at the Academy of Light, but head coach Michael Beale understands Sunderland will have to tread lightly with the midfielder, who is nearing the end of his contract, after such an extended absence.

“Corry is a little bit away,” Beale explained.

 

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Corry Evans

 

“When I arrived, they said he was still a few months away.” I’ve been here roughly four weeks, so he’ll be back with the team in four or five weeks.

“Obviously, it was a long-term injury, and there are always one or two niggles when you come back from that.”

“He’s out working in isolation with the sports science department but he’s not going to be unavailable to play any time soon.”

Elliot Embleton is another player who is working on his fitness and undergoing rehabilitation. The midfielder was on loan at Derby earlier this season, but he sustained a catastrophic thigh injury that necessitated surgery. The Derby loan was officially terminated this week, and Beale stated that Embleton may yet play for Sunderland in the second half of the season.

“He doesn’t seem like he’s a million miles away from rejoining the group,” Sunderland’s manager stated.

“He’s another one who is out there working with the performance staff to ensure he’s getting the best rehab possible.”

“His loan at Derby has now ended, so he’s very much back here, and when he’s ready to go, we’ll assess from there.”

“He’s obviously a boy who knows this club and knows what it takes to play for this club, so I’ve no doubt that he’s going to be chomping at the bit to contribute.”

Sunderland look to rebound from last week’s derby defeat at Ipswich tonight (5.30pm). The Tractor Boys have had a fantastic return to the Championship, but they are winless in their last five games, and the gap to third-place Southampton is now just three points.

“Like ourselves last year, if you have a group of players who have the bounce of promotion and the confidence, you can keep running with it,” Beale remarked.

“Injuries have made things more difficult for them recently, and the Championship can get to you.” Kieran (McKenna) is a coach I’m familiar with; our paths have crossed.

“From the outside looking in, I’ve been rooting for him to do well, but that will come to an end on Saturday.” But it’s nice to see a young coach succeed, and I’m pleased for him and Ipswich. They’re a club that, like us, spent much too much time in League One.”

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