Latest recovery step left me feeling like a kid again, says Sunderland's Vito Mannone

Sunderland's Vito Mannone celebrates

The Sunderland keeper has been sidelined since August.

Sunderland's Vito Mannone celebrates

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone says the latest step on his road to recovery has left him feeling like a kid again.

Mannone suffered an elbow injury during training in August, missing the Mackems' last eight games in all competitions.

In recent weeks, the Italian has posted a succession of fitness updates on social media, and has today enjoyed his first outdoor training session.

"What a feeling! Felt like a kid again. First goalkeeping session outside. Getting there," a smiling Mannone posted on Instagram.

In Mannone's absence, Sunderland searched frantically to add to their goalkeeping ranks, eventually landing Boavista's Mika a week after the summer window close following an appeal to FIFA.

However, it is not the Portuguese whom Mannone will be most concerned about as he nears his return to action, with youngster Jordan Pickford seizing his place in the meantime.

Sunderland's Jordan Pickford celebrates after Patrick van Aanholt scores their first goal

Pickford's Sunderland form earned him a maiden call-up to England's squad for this month's internationals, while Everton are said to be readying a January bid for the 22-year-old and plan to make him their number 1 (the Sun).

Mannone, 28, arrived at Sunderland from Arsenal in 2013 and has played 71 times for the Mackems so far.

Sunderland's Fabio Borini and Vito Mannone celebrate after the game


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