Sunderland have potentially been dealt a double injury blow ahead of their League One fixture on Tuesday night.
According to a report by the Sunderland Echo, both Corry Evans and Luke O’Nien are doubts for the trip to Burton Albion, with Lee Johnson set to make a call on whether or not he includes either of the duo in his matchday squad.
However, the report added that Evans is a major doubt for the clash, with the midfielder having been withdrawn in the second half of the MK Dons fixture as a result of a muscle injury.
Meanwhile, O’Nien appears to have a slightly better chance of featuring on Tuesday, with the right-back having missed Saturday’s 2-1 win due to illness.
Johnson does have a number of options from which to choose in central midfield, with Dan Neil, Carl Winchester and Elliot Embleton all capable of operating in the position. However, the loss of club captain Evans would nevertheless come as a huge blow to the 40-year-old, as the former Blackburn Rovers man is a player who the Black Cats boss is eager to make a cornerstone of his Sunderland side this season.
O’Nien’s absence would more than likely cause Johnson a much bigger selection headache, as the 26-year-old is the only natural right-back in the Mackems’ squad.
The manager could potentially deploy one of Winchester, Tom Flanagan or Bailey Wright in the position, although the former will be needed in central midfield if Evans is not deemed fit enough to feature, while Flanagan and Wright will most likely be required at centre-back.
In any case, being without either player is sure to be a worrying blow for Johnson, especially as his side are facing a testing away trip to a Burton team who, along with Sunderland, are one of only four clubs with a 100% record in League One so far this season.