Sunderland have been dealt a blow regarding the fitness of Ross Stewart ahead of their upcoming Carabao Cup clash.
That’s according to a report by Chronicle Live, who claim that the centre-forward looks set to be left out for the Black Cats’ trip to Wigan Athletic on Tuesday evening, as the 25-year-old picked up an ankle injury in the club’s 2-2 draw with Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
However, the report also went on to state that Tom Flanagan is once again available after serving his one-match suspension, while youngsters Niall Huggins, Frederik Alves, and Nathan Broadhead could all come into Lee Johnson’s starting XI.
While the Carabao Cup is not likely to be a competition overly high on Johnson’s list of priorities in a season in which Sunderland are hoping to mount a push for automatic promotion in League One, the absence of Stewart will nevertheless have left the 40-year-old manager gutted.
Having played second-fiddle to Charlie Wyke following his move from Ross County to Wearside back in January, Stewart has highly impressed in place of the now-departed 30-year-old centre-forward – who, rather ironically, now plays for Tuesday’s opponents – so far this season.
As such, while the competition may not be of utmost importance to Johnson, the absence of Stewart will nevertheless come as a blow to the 40-year-old, as a win against the only side currently above Sunderland in the League One table would certainly be a major confidence boost for the Black Cats.