Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Black Cats Pair Set for Derby-Day Comebacks; Sidelined Duo Could Make Returns from Injury at White-Hot St James'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Black Cats Pair Set for Derby-Day Comebacks; Sidelined Duo Could Make Returns from Injury at White-Hot St James'

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter Sports Writer twitter: @JHUNTERCHRON

EMANUELE Giaccherini and Billy Jones could make their comebacks from injury in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the Tyne-Wear derby.

The duo returned to full training this week following extended spells on the sidelines, with Italian midfielder Giaccherini missing since mid-September with an ankle problem and full-back Jones absent since the beginning of October with hamstring trouble.

But Sunderland boss Gus Poyet insists he has no plans to thrust them straight back into action against West Ham United at the Stadium of Light this weekend, unless other injuries force his hand.

And that means Giaccherini and Jones are instead set to come into consideration for the first time when Sunderland head to St James' Park to face Newcastle a week on Sunday.

"Yes, they will join in full training this week," said Poyet, whose side were drawn at home to Leeds United in the FA Cup third-round draw.

"But that doesn't mean they will be available for West Ham.

"Unless anyone gets injured, we'll probably give them an extra week, so they'll probably be available for Newcastle.

"Now, the players know that sometimes things go really bad and the manager will go 'All the best, you're back' a little bit early. But I would like them to have 10 days' proper training with the first-team - being at that level of competition which helps you to play."

The pair were originally scheduled to resume full training last week but, with Sunderland's schedule including a midweek game against Manchester City, Poyet decided they would be better served by spending an extra week working on their fitness, rather than taking part in light training sessions with the first-team squad.

But, with Sebastian Coates and Ricky Alvarez having made successful comebacks from injury last week, the impending returns of Giaccherini and Jones will further strengthen Poyet's hand ahead of the busy festive period. …

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