WES BROWN is in line to feature for Sunderland Under-21s on Monday night, as he continues his comeback from injury.
Brown and Steven Fletcher will both miss tomorrow’s crucial Stadium of Light clash against Southampton, although Adam Johnson is in the squad to face the Saints, as Sunderland look to improve their position in the relegation dogfight.
Ex-England international Brown has been sidelined since Dick Advocaat’s opening game in charge at West Ham with a knee injury, but trained with the rest of the squad today and is due to feature for the U21s in Monday night’s clash against Everton.
That could see the 35-year-old be back in contention for the final four games of the campaign.
Advocaat said: “Wes is going better and better. He trained for part of the training session today.
“He will train on Sunday with the players who don’t play tomorrow and if that goes well, he will play for the U21s on Monday.”
Fletcher is also ruled out of the visit of Saints after undergoing a second scan on his ankle injury yesterday.
The Scot has not participated in full training this week and Advocaat remains unsure when the striker will return, albeit he hopes he is not out for the season.
“It’s still a problem,” said Advocaat.
“He did not train this week with the squad.
“We will see next week how everything develops.
“We need everybody in the squad because we haven’t got a big squad.”
But Advocaat has confirmed that Johnson will be in the squad tomorrow after he was not mentally fit to feature at Stoke last weekend, following his charges for three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 years old, plus one offence of grooming.
“His name is in the squad,” added Advocaat.
* Follow our matchday blog on Sunderland’s massive clash with Southampton tomorrow – we start the build-up from 11.30am on http://www.sunderlandecho.com/sport/safc-live