Poyet Issues Sunderland Injury Update

Tim Keeton

Black Cats boss Gus Poyet has suggested that his side's need for an additional goalkeeper may not be quite as high on his list of priorities as some have previously thought.

Sunderland have been linked to a host of goalkeepers since the transfer window opened over a fortnight ago, but manager Poyet's need to delve into the market may have lessened somewhat following news regarding Keiren Westwood.

The Irish stopper, who has fallen behind Vito Mannone in the Wearside pecking order, was expected to miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Westwood's contract expires in the summer, and many felt this injury spelled the end of his Sunderland career.

Poyet, however, has suggested not all hope is lost for the back-up keeper, offering an update following the 29-year-old's recent operation.

Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, the Uruguayan gaffer intimated that Westwood's time on the sidelines may well be shorter than expected.

He has had the operation. Everything went all right, he is fine, so he starts his recovery next week.

It's difficult to put a time on it because, in the end, it was better than we thought.

Initially when they went in and they checked, it was not as bad as they thought, so it [will] probably be shorter, but it's difficult to say a time.

Clearly, no date has been set for Westwood's return to the fray, but this is good news overall. The Irishman endured a difficult start to the season, but remains a more than able deputy.

Vito Mannone has deservedly earned himself a role as the club's number one, so it would be disappointing if Poyet felt the need to bring in a stopper to usurp the Italian. Westwood's return from injury, too, would diminish the need for a replacement goalkeeper - there are far more pressing issues in the current squad.

That said, even if Westwood's recovery is a swift one and Poyet abandons his pursuit of a goalkeeper this January, it would be of little surprise if the man signed from Coventry City in 2011 was to leave on Wearside when his contract expires this summer.

There was also an update on Carlos Cuellar's current situation. The Spaniard has been missing for a while with a hip injury, but is expected to resume training within a couple of weeks.

To be honest, we tend to almost forget Cuellar exists these days, but that's a bit unfair. It'll be nice to have another defensive option available.

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