Jones and Richardson to give Bruce a welcome lift

The Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has been handed a welcome boost ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against Bolton.

The Black Cats entertain Wanderers at the Stadium of Light having slipped into the bottom half of the table as a result of Stoke City's 3-2 win over Fulham on Tuesday night and a run of 11 league games which has brought just seven points.

Bruce's men have won just once during that sequence of fixtures – against high-flying Arsenal – and have been hampered in recent weeks by injuries and suspensions.

Central defender Michael Turner will complete his four-match ban at the weekend – Bruce was himself charged with improper conduct by the Football Association on Tuesday over his comments regarding the player's dismissal at Manchester City on 19 December – while the likes of Craig Gordon, John Mensah, Lee Cattermole, Andy Reid and Nyron Nosworthy are still out injured.

However, Kenwyne Jones, Kieran Richardson and Bolo Zenden could all return against Bolton, while Anton Ferdinand has an outside chance of being available.

Bruce said: "We could possibly have people back, there are a few close. Kenwyne, Kieran and Bolo are all training and Craig Gordon's stepping up his recovery. It's too soon for Craig, but we could have four or five in and around the squad at the weekend."

Jones has missed the last two games with a calf problem, while Richardson has been sidelined for the last three by a similar injury. Zenden has struggled with hamstring strains since his arrival on Wearside, and was left out of Saturday's 3-0 FA Cup third-round win over non-league Barrow as a precaution.

Gordon broke his arm in a collision with the Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe during a 2-0 defeat at White Hart Lane at the beginning of November. However, he has been given the go-ahead to step up his recovery and is hoping for a run-out with the reserves next week, weather permitting.

Ferdinand had been out for more than a month after damaging ankle ligaments in the 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage on 6 December.

Midfielder Cattermole has been forced to sit out the last three games since returning from a knee injury with a hamstring problem and, while he is close again, he will not be risked unless he is ready.

Bruce said: "I would say he's 50-50 for the game, but he could be in contention for the Chelsea match [on 16 January]."

Meanwhile, the ongoing cold snap has forced Bruce and his players indoors with the training pitches at the Academy of Light frozen.

The manager said: "It's a frustration because, as a professional, you prepare properly for every game. We have struggled for two and a half weeks now. We went on the beach 10 days ago and after that, a lot of players were complaining of stiffness, soreness and calf strains, so we knocked that on the head. It's particularly frustrating and it's certainly not easy. I can't remember experiencing such a long period of snow and ice."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
News
peopleWarning - contains a lot of swearing
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project