Bruce handed triple boost
Trio back in training and set to face Trotters
By Richard Bailey. Last Updated: January 6, 2010 12:06pm
Jones: Back in training
Steve Bruce has been boosted by the news that Kenwyne Jones, Kieran Richardson and Bolo Zenden could all return for the clash with Bolton.
Sunderland have struggled with injuries and suspensions in recent weeks leaving Bruce without nine first-team regulars for the FA Cup third round win over non-league Barrow.
Jones (calf) has missed the last two games with Richardson (calf) absent for the past three matches, while Zenden has continued to struggle with hamstring problems ever since signing at the Stadium of Light in October.
However, the welcome news does not improve the situation in defence with Paulo Da Silva the only fit centre-back for the visit of Bolton.
Anton Ferdinand has an outside chance of making the game but John Mensah (hamstring), Nyron Nosworthy (knee) and the suspended Michael Turner are all still out.
"Kenwyne has trained for the last two days and should be available, as should Kieran, while Bolo has trained for the last couple of days and should be also in contention," boss Bruce told the Sunderland Echo.
Touch and go
"Anton's touch and go. It's definitely too soon for Andy Reid (hamstring) and John Mensah - and I think it probably will be for Lee (Cattermole - hamstring), as well.
"Nyron's a real doubt, while Craig (Gordon - broken arm) is doing fantastically well and he's back handling the ball again, but he isn't ready to come back."
Like many managers up and down the country the snow has made it hard for Bruce to organise training on a regular basis.
"It's tough at the moment because of the weather - if I'm honest, I think we've only trained properly once in the last two and a half weeks," he added.
"Of course, we use indoor areas and gyms, but it's not ideal. We used the stadium before the game against Barrow and we'll probably look to do the same again ahead of the Bolton game this weekend, but if you take the covers off and there's another heavy snowfall we'll be in trouble.
"That's been frustrating, and it certainly hasn't helped the injury situation. The last thing you need to be doing with players with calf injuries is running in gyms.
"The one thing you need to do in this day and age is prepare properly. However, we've just got to get on with it and deal with it because we can't do anything about it."