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."

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little