Oxford United welcome Sunderland to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday for the first home league game of the new season.
One week in and United have been dogged by bad luck on the injury front with John Mousinho joining Jamie Hanson, Alex Gorrin and Josh Ruffels in the treatment room. Mousinho damaged knee ligaments during Tuesday night's Carabao Cup game against Watford and will see a specialist next Tuesday to assess the full extent of the damage.
Ruffels will miss the next two or three weeks after injuring a shoulder at Lincoln last Saturday, roughly the same timescale that the U's will welcome back Gorrin (ankle) and Hanson (calf).
"We just get on with it" Karl Robinson told iFollow."We always knew it could happen because of the short break after a long season but we will come through it."
Matty Taylor, Mark Sykes and Sean Clare all missed training this week and are doubtful while Sam Winnall is building up fitness but unlikely to be involved yet. Rob Atkinson is available after his red card at Lincoln was overturned after an appeal.
Hear from Liam Kelly in the Preview Show and see exclusive pre match interviews with Karl Robinson and Elliott Moore in iFollow right now.
Black Cats boss Phil Parkinson is without George Dobson who was shown a straight red card in the 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers on the opening weekend but is likely to have the experienced Grant Leadbitter available
“There’s nothing major to have to worry about,” Parkinson said. "Grant Leadbitter picked up a dead leg earlier in the week, but he should be okay. Josh Scowen has not been with us today, he’s had a family bereavement and is at a funeral, but everybody else has been fine, which is good.”
Like Karl Robinson, Parkinson is still hoping to add new faces to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes
“We’ve got time,” he said. “We haven’t got a great deal of money left in terms of the money we can go to, we have to say that. Unless it’s an Under-21 player, there’s not a lot of leeway there. There’s a bit left, but it’s not as much as we would like. We’ve got to make sure if we do add to it, it’s the right player."
A reminder, if needed, that the game is behind closed doors and we once again ask all fans to respect the current situation and stay away from the stadium. Stay home and watch it on iFollow.
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