Sunderland forward Victor Anichebe has given his manager David Moyes a fitness boost ahead of their next game, even while the club have been rocked byJason Denayer's injury setback.
There are fears that the Belgian centre-back could be out for two to four weeks after tearing an adductor muscle, according to theMail. Denayer- who is on a season-long loan from Manchester City - had to come off after 33 minutes of an Under-21 European Championship qualifier for Belgium against Montenegro with the injury.
Denayer joins Jan Kirchhoff, Adnan Januzaj, Lee Cattermole, Sebastian Larsson, Steven Pienaar, Vito Mannone, and Fabio Borini on Sunderland's injury list to add to Moyes' woes.
However, a positive for Moyes is the fact that Anichebe has returned to training for Sunderland ahead of their game against fellow strugglers Stoke City at the weekend.
Anichebe joined Sunderland as a free agent in September after he was released by West Brom, which means that he missed the whole of pre season with his new team. The former Nigerian international has made only one appearance for the Black Cats this season, coming on as a substitute in the 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace.
Anichebe has spoken to the Sunderland Echo about his fitness, saying: My thigh and my groin are fine. The first game I came back I wasn't as ready as I should have been but I was happy to try and help the team if I could.
It is difficult for me; I haven't had a pre-season or done the majority of the training like the rest of the boys. It isn't an excuse, it is just a fact.These sessions and the work I am doing with the physios are really helping me.
I feel really good now, it is just about getting games and power into me and hopefully with a combination of first team training games and reserve games, which I am happy to play to get back quicker, I will be fit and ready to help.
Over the summer I did a lot of stuff on my own and had a personal trainer too but it is really not the same", he added.
Even talking to some of my friends “ like Yakubu, Peter Odemwingie, (Emmanuel)Adebayor “ it is difficult training on your own, no matter how much you do. I was doing three sessions a day.
You look great but you are not fit football-wise. That is the difficult part. Sometimes people don't always understand that. I have realised how hard it is to catch up.�