With so many players currently out injured at Sunderland, the Wearside club have finally been handed some good news regarding one of their players which will surely please a lot of fans and Lee Johnson.
According to a recent report from The Northern Echo, Black Cats midfielder Luke O’Nien has undergone a successful operation to fix a shoulder injury which has affected him for a significant period of time.
Last month, Johnson revealed that the success of the surgery would be a big factor in when the 27-year-old will be able to return to action. Given how well his surgery went, it seems as though there can be some hope that he will be back sooner rather than later, which would be a big relief for everyone at the Stadium of Light.
O’Nien’s performances in his 16 League One games for Sunderland this season earned him an overall rating of 7.16/10, making him their second highest-rated player after Ross Stewart according to WhoScored. That just goes to show how important he is to the team and why it’s good to hear that he may only be out for three months rather than until the end of the season as previously feared.
Those performances have seen the 27-year-old prove his worth to Johnson’s side by averaging 1.4 interceptions, 1.9 tackles and three clearances per game.
Also, prior to his surgery, O’Nien stepped out of his usual defensive midfield role to play in the left-back position for Sunderland’s games against Ipswich Town and Shrewsbury Town, in which he scored one goal and set up another. This shows how versatile he is as a player and how much faith Johnson had in him to deploy him there with the likes of Denver Hume and Dennis Cirkin injured.
Moving forward, even though the 27-year-old will still likely spend the next three months on the sidelines, plenty of positivity can be taken from the reports that his surgery went well and that he is now on the road to a full recovery.
If O’Nien can get back to action as soon as possible, he could be the difference between Sunderland securing promotion and spending another season in League One given his defensive talents and versatility.