John O’Shea set to return to Sunderland team

The Irish centre back limped off in Tuesday night’s draw with Crystal Palace

Sunderland’s John O’Shea and West Ham United’s Emmanuel Emenike battle for the ball at Upton Park last weekend. Photograph: EPA

Sunderland’s John O’Shea and West Ham United’s Emmanuel Emenike battle for the ball at Upton Park last weekend. Photograph: EPA

 

Sunderland skipper John O’Shea is expected to be fit for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Southampton.

The 34-year-old limped off during the first half of Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace complaining of a tight calf muscle, but scans have shown the damage is not as bad as was first feared and he should make the squad. It’s good news too for Ireland with manager Martin O’Neill expressing his concern over the former Manchester United player’s fitness earlier this week - ahead of the summer’s European championships of course, where O’Shea is set to be a key cog in the Irish XI.

Meanwhile Lee Cattermole, who was left with concussion and stitches after a clash of heads with Palace’s Jordon Mutch, will not make the Sunderland squad, and nor will fellow midfielder Jeremain Lens as he continues his recovery from hernia surgery, while striker Duncan Watmore will be sidelined for some time by an ankle ligament problem.

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