O'Neill: Cause For Optimism Over Sessegnon Injury

Thumbs up for Sessegnon, but a tentative one at the moment.

Reports coming out today suggest that there's cause for optimism over the ankle injury sustained by star forward Stephane Sessegnon earlier this summer, which has kept him out of all Sunderland's preseason games.

In speaking with the Sunderland Echo, manager Martin O'Neill indicated that there is cause for optimism that his prized asset will be for the seasons opening game against Arsenal;

Sessegnon hurt his ankle the other day and had some more scans on Friday. The news emanating from the doctor wasn't too bad. We're less fearful than we possibly were. That's decent news.

I don't think it'll take Sessegnon too long to get fit. He played a lot of games last season, which was starting to take its toll at the back end of the season.

Obviously this serves as a huge boost to our already slim chances of getting anything at the Emirates if Sessegnon is fit enough to take a part in the game as without him we're devoid of any creativity or magic. You know this. Everybody knows this. My dog knows this. Still, it comes as a very welcome boost that he could take a part.

News wasn't quite so great for Phil Bardsley who has also missed the entire preseason with injury. The Scottish international has pulled out of the national squad for the game against Australia on Wednesday. O'Neill went on to explain, but gave no timetable for Bardsley's recovery;

Phil, on the other hand, we'll have to wait to see how he is today. It's been unfortunate for him because we could have done with him.

If Bardsley can't go against Arsenal it's likely Craig Gardner will step into the breach, as he did last season and in numerous friendlies this summer.

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