STEVEN Fletcher has made a much swifter return from a shoulder injury sustained last month and could potentially feature in this weekend’s game against Swansea City.
The Sunderland striker was badly hurt when he fell heavily on his shoulder in what turned out to be Paolo Di Canio’s last game as head coach – the 3-0 defeat at West Brom on September 21.
Although the injury was not as bad as first feared, it was still expected to sideline the Scottish international for up to six weeks.
But less than a month after the incident, Fletcher is pushing for a first-team return with Black Cats boss Gus Poyet revealing there is every likelihood that the forward might feature in Saturday’s game at the Liberty Stadium.
“There is a big possibility,” Poyet confirmed. “It’s some of the very good news from this week.
“Every player is important but we know in football that there is a few positions that are key; the goalkeeper, the spine of the team and the main man up front scoring goals.
“We need goals we need players who have got the ability and Fletcher is one of those players.”
Poyet recognises he will need his strongest possible XI if Sunderland are to topple Swansea – a club he has every admiration for after the success of Michael Laudrup.
“I think they had the perfect approach,” he said.
“The club is balanced. They’ve changed manager but they’ve tried to maintain that philosophy.
“That a big advantage for any manager who goes there.
“What a difference with Swansea as a club now.
“There’s a team who have been playing five or six years in the same way and they’re slowly getting better and better.
“It’s a big contrast - we have a few problems, we have changed manager and we have got a new group of players.
“But at 3pm its 11 v 11, one referee, two linesmen and it’s all about what you do in those two hours.
“We will go there to win. We need to win games. We cannot go to places looking to get just one point.”