A major update has emerged regarding the fitness of Sunderland defender Danny Batth…
Alex Neil has revealed that the centre-back is closing in on a return to action as he continues to deal with an ankle injury which has plagued him since he made the switch to Wearside in January.
Neil told The Chronicle: “He’s been on the grass, he’s been doing running and he’s been in better nick. He’s not far away now. He’s not trained with us specifically but he’s been doing his own work in terms of changing direction and all that stuff.”
Neil will surely be delighted that Batth is close to making his comeback, as having him available will be a big boost to Sunderland’s squad heading into the final months of the season.
His debut against Portsmouth offered plenty of promising signs. As per SofaScore, the 31-year-old won nine of his 14 duels whilst making five clearances, one block, one tackle and one interception as the Black Cats won the match 1-0. He helped his side to keep a clean sheet with his impressive defending, and his form in the Championship suggests that there is more to come from him.
In the first half of the campaign in the second tier, he averaged an excellent SofaScore rating of 7.10 for Stoke as he won 68% of his duels and made 2.6 tackles and interceptions per game. This shows that he can excel in a higher division as he consistently delivered top-class performances for the Potters, which is why Neil will surely be keen to have him available for selection.
If Sunderland can get Batth back to his best, the statistics suggest that,he can have a huge impact at the Stadium of Light in the business end of the campaign. The Black Cats are fighting it out to land a play-off spot, and having another defender who can reliably perform to a high standard can only be a good thing for the club.
Therefore, Neil will be buzzing that the 31-year-old is not far away from being back in full training. It will then be down to Batth to get himself back to 100% and show that he can be a rock in defence for the club in League One, just as he was in the Championship earlier this term.