Late fitness test for Cattermole

O'Neill to give captain time to prove his fitness

Martin O'Neill: Will give Cattermole time to prove fitness

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Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill will give captain Lee Cattermole as much time as possible before deciding if he is fit to play against Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The combative midfielder has not played since Sunderland's 2-0 win over Swansea on 21st January due to a hamstring injury.

But he has returned to training this week and could make a comeback at the Stadium of Light on Saturday evening.

O'Neill told the club's official website: "We're hoping that Lee will be added to the list. He has done a little bit of training over the last couple of days.

"As we speak we haven't yet gone out this morning, so he's got today and tomorrow. We'll have a little look.

"Lee is playing very well at the moment and would be a great addition for us."

Come-backs

There is more positive news on the injury front for the Black Cats with Nicklas Bendtner back in training after his facial injury, as well as David Vaughan and Matt Kilgallon edging towards comebacks.

O'Neill added: "Bendtner has done some training but is of course ineligible to play in the Arsenal game.

"David Vaughan is making some progress. Matthew Kilgallon is coming through as well, though he didn't make the squad last weekend because he'd only done one or two days' training.

"It's been a good week for him, too. We are getting a few people back."