Gordon returns to lift Black Cats' flagging spirits

Sunderland have been handed a much-needed boost with the news goalkeeper Craig Gordon is likely to return for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Portsmouth.

Scotland international Gordon has been out of action since breaking his arm following a clash with Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe at White Hart Lane in November. But he is back in training and ought to return at Fratton Park, along with three other players who missed the 7-2 mauling at Chelsea last weekend.

Black Cats manager Steve Bruce said: "Craig is back. Obviously Michael Turner is available [after suspension] and we're hoping to have Andy Reid and Lee Cattermole back as well. John Mensah is also on the way back."

Turner has missed the last four games after the Football Association rejected Sunderland's appeal against his controversial sending-off at Manchester City and increased his three-game ban.