Latest: Sunderland ‘key player’ is a doubt to be fit for Club when Middlesbrough travel to the Stadium of Light

When Middlesbrough visits Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Alex Pritchard’s health is uncertain.

Tony Mowbray admits uncertainty over Alex Pritchard Sunderland future -  Sports Illustrated Sunderland Nation

After the offensive midfielder missed Wednesday night’s victory over Watford, Sunderland may be without ‘important player’ Alex Pritchard for Saturday’s Wear-Tees derby against Middlesbrough.

Tony Mowbray had disclosed that one of his “key players” would miss the Watford game and would “likely” miss out against Boro too before that game, which Sunderland won 2-0. Pritchard was absent when Sunderland’s team was announced for the match, though he didn’t mention him by name at the time.

The Wearsiders were able to function without Pritchard thanks to goals from Niall Huggins and Abdoullah Ba, keeping them in fourth place in the Championship. Even though Pritchard doesn’t always start for Sunderland, Mowbray values him because he brings experience to a young team.

He has a small calf strain, therefore he’s probably unlikely to play at the weekend, the former Boro captain remarked after the game. Strains from calves are extremely sensitive. If you bet, you can get a tear as opposed to a niggle. It will be up in the air if he can make it, so I’ll sit down and talk to Alex to find out how he feels.

“The scan showed very little damage, but it did show damage, so we all agreed it was better he left it [last night] and there is an upcoming international break, but we haven’t decided on Saturday yet – we’ll wait and see how he is and whether he trains over the next few days,” a team member said.

Following their most recent triumph, Sunderland is feeling upbeat as they prepare for Saturday lunchtime’s visit from Boro. They are currently in fourth place and have won eight straight games. However, that loss came against Cardiff City, who Boro defeated 2-0 on Tuesday night to extend their own winning streak to four games overall.Tony Mowbray admits transfer window failings starting to hurt Sunderland -  Sports Illustrated Sunderland Nation

“We did huff and puff for 45 minutes, but we got the job done,” Mowbray said following the Watford encounter. We must continue on. We earned three points and retained a perfect record. We kept doing what we were. Being 2-0 while sitting here feels wonderful. It was a risky game. Simply put, I’m happy that we have three points and can move on to the next.

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