Sunderland goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter returned to first team training today for the first time since badly dislocating his finger in February - and he could be set to stay on Wearside ahead of next season in League One.
The 31-year old former FC Utrecht stopper has a year left on his current deal with the club, having signed on for two years after a successful trial last summer, and it’s thought that he’s keen to stick around and fight for his place as Sunderland’s number one with new signing Jon McLaughlin, who arrived last week on a free transfer following a successful season at Heart of Midlothian.
In a conversation with Roker Report earlier this year, current Sunderland goalie Max Stryjek described the incident to us when Ruiter damaged his finger in gruesome terms - and insisted that it was even worse in person:
I saw it live and it was even worse. It looked bigger.
In training he went to catch the ball - Mitre balls move a lot if you hit them badly. It hit the top of his finger, and you could hear a crack in his bones straight away. We knew that something bad had happened.
Roker Report learned earlier this week that Ruiter is making no plans to leave the club this summer, and has even enrolled his son into a local nursery such is his desire to stay.
The Dutchman joined McLaughlin, Stryjek and New Zealand international Michael Woud in training this morning and he’ll make up part of the squad that flies out to Portugal this weekend to undergo an intensive warm-weather training camp, headed up by Sunderland manager Jack Ross and his newly-assembled backroom team.