Alex Neil has been handed a big Sunderland injury boost over attacking midfielder Alex Pritchard…
According to the Sunderland Echo, the playmaker has been making encouraging progress in his recovery heading into the international break.
The Black Cats were due to play Rotherham at the Stadium of Light this weekend but the game has been postponed in light of international call-ups. This gives Pritchard two weeks to get himself back fit and in contention to make his comeback against Gillingham on 2 April.
He has been out of action since the 0-0 draw with Charlton at the beginning of March because of an ankle injury, but he now appears to be closing in on his return.
This update will surely leave Sunderland fans delighted as Pritchard has been phenomenal since making the switch from Huddersfield last summer.
He has the quality to unlock a defence with a sublime pass to create chances for his team-mates and win crucial points for the Black Cats in League One. The midfielder is able to consistently deliver on the ball in the final third, as reflected in his statistics this season.
In the league, he has created two chances per game and a whopping eight ‘big chances’ in total across 23 starts for Sunderland. He has chipped in with four goals and seven assists in League One, showing that he can have a major impact on matches.
Neil has admitted that having the ex-Norwich man back will be a positive, saying: “With Nathan and with Alex who have been really sort of productive for us this year, they will certainly help when they come back because they have got goals in them and are productive at this level, and they can change games.”
This illustrates why Pritchard’s progress is a huge boost for Sunderland, as he has the ability to “change games”, as Neil put it. He can pop up with a vital goal or assist to change the complexion of a match and secure vital points for the club when it otherwise looked unlikely.
Therefore, supporters will be buzzing to see him back in action at the Stadium of Light and will surely be pleased with this positive update on his recovery ahead of a crucial run of games in the hunt for a play-off spot.