Sunderland have been dealt a boost regarding the fitness of Niall Huggins ahead of their upcoming League One clash.
In recent comments cited by the Sunderland Echo, Lee Johnson revealed that, despite the defender having been brought off while appearing to be in extreme discomfort in the Black Cats’ 2-0 Carabao Cup victory over Wigan Athletic, Huggins could be available for selection for the visit of Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
This is because, rather than a serious muscle injury, the Leeds United loanee was simply suffering from cramp, with the issue having already eased considerably after the fixture at the DW Stadium on Tuesday.
Speaking about the fitness of the right-back, Johnson said: “I’m hoping it’s just cramp with Niall. I think it was because it seems to have eased off.”
The 41-year-old manager continued: “I thought Niall Huggins was outstanding, as well. You just wouldn’t want to mark [him and Dennis Cirkin], would you? They’re like Duracell bunnies.
“That [Huggins’ performance] comes from the cohesion – him understanding other players’ games and other players understanding him.”
Considering how well Huggins has performed for Sunderland since his season-long loan switch from Leeds United earlier this summer, the news that the defender does not look to have picked up a serious injury, in addition to more than likely being available for the Bolton game on Saturday, is sure to have fans buzzing.
Indeed, the 20-year-old particularly impressed against Wigan last time out, registering one assist, as well as making one tackle, one interception, two key passes and winning 83% of his duels over his 79 minutes on the pitch.
As such, the fact that the youngster looks set to once again be available to play a part for the Black Cats this weekend is undoubtedly a major boost for Johnson, who will be hoping his side can keep up their fantastic early-season form against the Trotters.