Sunderland have been dealt a potential double injury blow ahead of their upcoming League One fixture.
That’s according to a report by The Northern Echo, who claim that both Dennis Cirkin and Callum Doyle are being assessed ahead of the Cheltenham Town clash on Tuesday evening, as both players were withdrawn due to injury in the 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers last weekend.
Left-back Cirkin was taken off in the second half of the fixture after suffering a suspected concussion, while centre-back Doyle was substituted out shortly before the end of the match with a stiff back.
Speaking after the weekend’s victory, Lee Johnson said: “Dennis was outstanding and you can see now why we signed him. We’re still chasing fitness with a few and you can see that in games. It’s a bit frustrating and probably the reason we’re not able to quite win games by a higher margin.
“With Callum, he had a bit of a stiff back going into the game yesterday and he just needed a bit of treatment ahead of it. It’s just seized up on him towards the end there I think and so we had to bring him off. Whether he’s available for Tuesday, we’ll have to see.”
Considering how impressive both Cirkin and Doyle have been for Sunderland since their respective summer moves, the news that both players could be set to miss out on Tuesday evening is sure to leave the Stadium of Light faithful gutted.
Indeed, over Doyle’s eight League One fixtures so far this season, the Manchester City loanee has helped his side keep one clean sheet, as well as making an average of 1.6 interceptions, 1.1 tackles, 3.9 clearances and winning 3.9 duels per game.
Meanwhile, over Cirkin’s seven league appearances, the former Tottenham Hotspur defender has registered two assists, as well as making an average of 1.7 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 0.7 key passes and winning 4.7 duels per match.
As such, while the visit of a mid-table Cheltenham side should not cause second-placed Sunderland too much trouble on paper, the potential absence of both players will undoubtedly dent Johnson’s chances of picking up another three points in the fixture.