Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has confirmed to the Shields Gazette that a fitness boost for Lee Cattermole rules out any new signings today.
The paper’s report suggests that Cattermole is expected to be back in and around the Sunderland first team within the next three weeks after suffering with knee and groin problems.
“It was important we had clarification before the transfer window finished. If it had been bad news and a long-term injury maybe we would have had to move quickly,” said Poyet.
The news is significant because Cattermole is an important player for a number of reasons.
He’s the team’s leader and the midfielder who sets the example to his colleagues out on the pitch from the first minute.
Cattermole is also a player who likes to announce his physical presence in games early, which would have been a difficult quality for Sunderland to replace had his injury been long term.
The challenge for Poyet is knowing when to slot Cattermole back into the team.
The temptation will be there for the boss to throw him back into the team as quickly as possible, but the risk is that could make any small problem he’s carrying even worse, creating a longer term problem the club has been so keen to avoid.
Cattermole’s return will be like the club getting a new signing and the update has saved Poyet from a day spent on the phone chasing a replacement.