Forgotten Sunderland man pictured in first-team training after 13 months out

After 13 months on the sidelines, a forgotten Sunderland star was captured in first-team training.

Sunderland and injuries have gone hand in hand since the team’s return to the Championship in 2022.

For Sunderland, who also have injured players like Aji Alese, Dennis Cirkin, Bradley Dack, Elliot Embleton, Niall Huggins, and Patrick Roberts, Jack Clarke is currently sidelined.

Another player with an injury right now is Corry Evans of the Black Cats. Evans had an ACL tear during a Championship match against Middlesbrough last season, which has kept him out of action since January 2023.

Corry Evans stepping up return to action for Sunderland

It was disclosed earlier this month that Evans was practicing with the U21s after his recuperation spell.

However, Sunderland released many images of their first team practicing this morning, one of which featured Evans:

Evans, 33, reunited with former Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray at the Stadium of Light when he signed with Sunderland as a free agent during the 2021–2022 campaign.

After Sunderland was promoted to the Championship, the Northern Ireland international played 36 games in League One. Prior to his injury, he played 24 games in the second division.

A difficult period ahead for Evans

Sunderland supporters will be ecstatic to see captain Evans smiling and back in training.

The seasoned midfielder has been sidelined by injuries for a considerable amount of time, and because his deal expires this summer, it’s inevitable that he’ll be a free agency at the conclusion of the current campaign.

Sunderland’s Corry Evans during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Millwall at the Stadium Of Light, Sunderland on Saturday 3rd December 2022. (Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He just no longer fits the Sunderland mould at 33, but with his background and midfield skills, he should have no issue finding a new team.

His only goal going forward will be to increase his confidence and level of fitness in preparation for a potential return later in the season.

With 12 games remaining, Evans might still be available for Mike Dodds to use in the closing stages of the season. It would be fantastic for supporters and Sunderland staff alike to watch Evans play one last game in a Sunderland shirt.

It’s unclear where Evans will wind up; if Sunderland does decide to release him, a top League One team or possibly even a Championship team could make an offer for Evans in the summer.

This weekend, the Black Cats will play their first away game at Norwich City. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

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