Sunderland have been dealt a double injury blow ahead of their upcoming play-off semi-final clash on Saturday.
Speaking prior to the second leg of the Black Cats’ League One play-off semi-final against Lincoln City, Lee Johnson confirmed that both Denver Hume and Conor McLaughlin would be unavailable for selection due to injury.
Left-back Hume was withdrawn because of an issue with his hamstring just 10 minutes into the first leg of the tie and will not recover in time for today, while right-back McLaughlin has a stress fracture of the back which has ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
As cited by Chronicle Live, Johnson said: “Denver has a hamstring injury. It’s disappointing, and it’s happened on too many occasions to different players this season. And Conor is out for the season with a stress fracture of the back.”
Despite Johnson only taking over at Sunderland late last year, the 39-year-old has already had to deal with a quite extraordinary amount of injuries during his relatively short time at the club.
A large portion of these setbacks have occurred to the Black Cats’ defenders, such as the loss of centre-back Dion Sanderson, who returned to Wolves after being ruled out for the rest of the season, and fellow centre-back Jordan Willis, who looks set to be sidelined for 12 months because of a recurring knee injury.
As such, the news that both Hume and McLaughlin are now also unavailable for the visit of Lincoln on Saturday is likely to come as a devastating blow for the former Bristol City manager, particularly as his side are aiming to overturn a 2-0 defeat from the first leg of the play-off semi-final tie.