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Ross Stewart 'bright and positive' ahead of possible summer return - Tony Mowbray

By Michael Graham,


Tony Mowbray 'hopeful' of getting Ross Stewart back earlier than originally feared.

Ross Stewart is feeling ‘very positive’ about his recovery from injury, as he gave an update on when Sunderland might have him back.

Stewart suffered a serious Achilles injury in the FA Cup tie at Fulham and will undergo surgery next week to correct it.

That will see him miss the rest of the season, but Mowbray says the mood has grown more positive as the days have passed.

"As the days roll on he becomes more and more positive," Mowbray said of Stewart. "He is still on crutches with his big, protective, plastic boot on while he waits for surgery.

"He is bright and positive - footballers come to terms with these things, they understand that they have a task in front of them and there will be a period of time where it is going to be really hard work to get back to where you need to be. Once they get through the initial disappointment and frustration, upset, anger, whatever the emotion, then they have to prepare themselves for the work ahead and that's what Ross is doing.

"He wants his operation as quickly as he can have it done so he can start the process of getting back, and we be here to support him as much as we can and hopefully it will be a smooth transition back to playing whenever that might be - pre-season, hopefully, we'll have to wait and see.

“It's not a brand-new injury that no-one has ever had. The people in the medical department will have a clear plan for him.”

There have been reports that Stewart could return ahead of pre-season, which would be a considerable boost considering how serious the injury first appears.

Mowbray, though, is keen not to put a timescale on it, saying: "I don't know what the worst-case scenario would be.

"Let's hope he is back out on the pitch again soon and in pre-season we see him doing the work and getting his core fitness ready to play."

"I think the best thing is that the repair - there were conversations around it being conservative or a repair - and the decision has been to do the repair. People talk about percentages of tears and what have you, but they're going to just repair it.

"Whether it's five percent, ten percent, 20 percent, damage, just get it repaired so it is 100 percent again. I'm not a medic, I don't know whether they cut it completely and re-fix it or whether they just stitch it or whatever, but Ross is pretty happy with the procedure that's going to happen.

"He's going to have an operation and then there will be a timescale on it and he will work hard to get back as soon as he can."

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