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Injured duo have a chance of being fit to face Luton Town in the play-offs, says Tony Mowbray

Lynden Gooch and Dennis Cirkin have a chance of facing Luton Town in Sunderland’s Championship play-off first leg tie on Saturday – but only if they come through training unscathed tomorrow. The pair were both substituted in the Black Cats’ 3-0 win at Preston on the final day of the season, with Cirkin forced off at half-time with an ankle injury and Gooch withdrawn midway through the second period with a slight hamstring issue.

Of the two, Cirkin’s injury is more of a concern than that of Gooch. Sunderland can ill-afford any more defensive injuries with Danny Batth (knee) and Aji Alese (thigh) already missing, while boss Tony Mowbray says Dan Ballard is unlikely to recover from his hamstring problem in time to face Luton in either the home leg at the Stadium of Light this weekend, or the return fixture at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday.

Neither Cirkin nor Gooch trained today but Mowbray hopes they will be involved tomorrow and, if so, they would come into contention for the weekend. “Neither of them have trained, but they might train tomorrow,” he said.

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“If they train tomorrow and then they put their hand up after five minutes and have to come off, then they won’t be playing on Saturday. But if they come through the session, there’s a chance they’ll play.

“We’ll have to see. We didn’t ask them to train today because there’s no need for them to train today.

“We’ll have a light training session tomorrow, and if they come through it, we’ll have a one-to-one chat and if we decide to go with it, then that’ll be the case. In all honesty, as I sit here, I don’t know if they’re going to be available or not.”

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