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Roker Roundup: Exciting Sunderland striking pair edge closer to returns; d’ya know Juan Sartori?

Two of Sunderland’s injured strikers have made significant strides towards returning to competitive action, whilst a campaign has been launched to introduce Juan Sartori to the world.

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International roundup

Tom Flanagan has been called up by Northern Ireland for their fixtures against the Republic of Ireland and Austria, with the latter being a Nations League match.

Michael O’Neill named a 28-man squad for the two fixtures, with Sunderland’s Flanagan making the cut - as well as Sunderland academy product Trevor Carson who is currently with Motherwell.

Flanagan will miss the League One game against Wycombe Wanderers due to the international break, as that game will go ahead as planned after Bryan Oviedo missed out on a place in the Costa Rica squad.

Aiden McGeady has hit form as of late, but Martin O’Neill left him out of the most recent Ireland squad. Speaking about his decision the former Sunderland manager says although he won’t rule the winger out of contention completely, he admits his international career is coming to an end:

He wasn’t on the radar for this game but I haven’t drawn a line under him.

It looks like he’s getting back into some sort of shape, so I wouldn’t [rule him out], no.

I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time but at some stage or another you either have to move on from it or hope that player can come back and he’s not getting any younger at the end of it all.

Nice to see that he’s scoring a couple of goals but if you ask me have I drawn a line under his international career, he may well choose not to play any more, I don’t know.

Hopefully he hasn’t thought about that because you never know, hopefully if he comes back and has a roaring spell over the next couple of months, I don’t think I’m in a position to dismiss anybody like that.

Northern Ireland v New Zealand - International Friendly Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Do you know who Juan Sartori is?

Ahead of his expected run to be the National Party’s candidate to be president of Uruguay, a campaign has been launched to introduce the Sunderland board member to the wider public.

In the video titled ‘Do you know who Juan Sartori is?’, various people around the nation’s captial of Montevideo pose the titular question before the video ends with the phrase:

I know that you don’t know Juan Sartori but you will soon know him.

Sartori is expected to remain in Uruguay for the next week or ahead of his rumoured political move being made official.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Duo edge closer to returns

Attacking duo Andy Nelson and Duncan Watmore are both edging closer to a playing return after stepping up their comebacks from long-term injuries.

Nelson has been out since pre-season after suffering with ‘minor setbacks’ but had surgery in September to fix the underlying problem.

The 21-year-old striker has posted an update in Twitter which shows him undergoing drills in training and with the lack of out-and-out strikers in Jack Ross’ first team squad, he will be hoping to make an impression once ready.

Meanwhile, Watmore returned to action in a training friendly. The former England under-21 international played for the first time in a little under a year, as he featured for 25 minutes in a short run out for the forward.

Watmore injured his knee in a game against Millwall last year and that injury came only six games into an identical injury 11 months prior, in a game against Leicester City in the Premier League.

SAFC.com posted a video of Watmore in action, which you can see below, and caught up with the man himself after the game:

Rachel Woolston of Sunderland Ladies suffered the same injury as Watmore recently which ruled her out for the rest of the season but Duncan and his father and former FA Chief Executive Ian were kind enough to offer their condolences and support.

Sunderland v Hull City - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images