WBA defender Joleon Lescott unlikely to face Sunderland on opening day

Joleon Lescott during the Pre-Season friendly at The City Ground, Nottingham.
Joleon Lescott during the Pre-Season friendly at The City Ground, Nottingham.
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ENGLAND international Joleon Lescott is unlikely to be fit for Sunderland’s opening day trip to West Brom.

Lescott penned a two-year deal at the Hawthorns in the summer after leaving Manchester City at the end of his contract at the Etihad.

But the 32-year-old has been struggling with a knee injury and is a major doubt to face Sunderland in nine days time.

New Baggies boss Alan Irvine said: “Joleon Lescott is still not training.

“He is still suffering with a knee problem.

“We don’t think it is anything major but he has a bit of fluid on his knee.

“We are hopeful he will be back soon.

“He has done a bit more - but it is a tall order.”

Lescott’s central defensive partner Gareth McAuley is also expected to be ruled out through injury after only returning to training this week from a calf problem.

“I think making the first game of the season is a big ask for Gareth to be perfectly honest,” added Irvine.

“He’s missed so much pre-season that it is very difficult to throw him in.”