Sunderland defender Bryan Oviedo has taken to social media to clarify early fears he had picked up a nasty injury in yesterday’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Reading.
In his post-match assessment, Black Cats boss Chris Coleman had indicated that the Costa Rican left-back had been forced to leave the field of play with a knee issue just before the hour mark:
Bryan Oviedo went off with a knee injury and we don’t know the extent of that, and won’t know until maybe tomorrow when it has settled down a bit.
But the former Everton man posted an update on Facebook last night to allay fears and confirm he actually suffered a “small pull” to his hamstring.
Oviedo went so far as to indicate he expects to be recovered in a couple of days which is good news for a Sunderland side facing a pre-Christmas injury crisis of sorts as the threat of relegation to League One continues to deepen.
The full back has been one of the Black Cats better performers in an otherwise dismal campaign and will begin gearing himself up for World Cup preparations in the new year ahead of the global tournament kicking off in June.
Oviedo has endured an unlucky sequence of lay-offs since moving to England in 2012. The defender only managed 50 appearances in five years with Everton and suffered a double leg break in 2014.
Oviedo was one of the few in a red-and-white shirt to look relatively comfortable yesterday against Reading before his withdrawal and with no other natural senior left-back at the club, a lengthy lay-off would have been a huge blow to Coleman.
Adam Matthews turned out on the left under Simon Grayson a few times though Billy Jones is presently sidelined to cover for him on the right. The latter has been out for a month since hobbling off the pitch against Middlesbrough in November but is expected to be back in training in the next week or so. Donald Love is the other option at right-back of course and was on the bench yesterday.
Sunderland have several first team regulars out of action at the moment. Lamine Kone and Didier Ndong will be missing for much of the festive run-in and join long-term absentee Duncan Watmore in the treatment room.
And with Jonny Williams sidelined having hurt his shoulder and Jack Rodwell missing as usual, yesterday’s withdrawal of Paddy McNair before kick-off means Coleman’s options in midfield are shrinking by the week. Thankfully, the latter’s issue is not said to be related to the cruciate ligament problem that kept him out of action for the best part of a year.
With some tricky fixtures on the horizon, the last thing Sunderland need is a raft of senior players out injured. The Black Cats travel to league leaders Wolves next week then face mid-table Fulham before the Christmas schedule gets underway.
Chris Coleman’s side have four games inside ten days during the holiday period, including games against Cardiff and Sheffield United. Sunderland desperately need to pick up some points during the festive break to begin allaying fears of relegation.