Fabio Borini gives Sunderland manager options should Jermain Defoe miss out

Fabio Borini.
Fabio Borini.

Fabio Borini is ready to return to action, if Jermain Defoe struggles to start Saturday’s visit of Stoke City, writes Chris Young.

Match-winner Defoe limped off in the closing stages of Monday night’s win over Crystal Palace after landing awkwardly on his ankle.

We’ll have to see what that Jermain’s ankle is like in the next few days.

Defoe has not suffered any serious damage and is hopeful of being available for this weekend’s encounter, as Sunderland aim to register back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

However, Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has options available if Defoe does miss out.

Summer signing Borini was absent from the squad which travelled to Selhurst Park after continuing to struggle with the ankle injury which had kept him sidelined against Newcastle and Everton.

But Borini was able to train over the weekend and will be available against the Potters, as will Adam Johnson, who was an unused substitute against Palace.

“We’ll have to see what that Jermain’s ankle is like in the next few days,” said Allardyce.

“But we’ve got nice options.

“Fabio Borini is back after recovering from his injury. He’s been training with us for the last few days.

“He’ll have looked at the team winning and said to himself ‘can I get back in?’

“That’s healthy.

“Adam Johnson thinks the same.

“That should hopefully make them more determined to perform even better than they have done.”

One player Sunderland will definitely be without against Stoke is right-back Billy Jones, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Palace and earns a subsequent one-match ban.

On-loan Spurs defender DeAndre Yedlin is likely to take Jones’ spot in the starting XI, albeit summer signing Adam Matthews featured for the Under-21s last night.