Wolverhampton Wanderers will welcome back talismanic striker Kevin Doyle this weekend, but there is a warning for the Republic of Ireland hitman.
Doyle has scored 14 goals since his £6.5 million move from Reading in 2009 and was expected to be greatly missed after tearing his medial ligaments in his left knee.
But during his six-week lay-off Steven Fletcher and Stephen Ward have hit 11 goals between them as Wolves have surged out of the bottom three, and skipper Karl Henry isn't so sure Doyle will make an immediate return.
“It will be fantastic to have Doyle back. But I’m sure he won’t walk straight back in and I’m sure he wouldn’t expect to.
“I don’t know if he’ll be quite match-fit but if his knee is OK, we’ll be delighted just to have him in and around the squad.
“Fletcher and Ward were brilliant on Sunday and had a good understanding.
“Fletcher won a lot of headers – in fact they both did – and they played really well together and put a great shift in as always.
“Ward’s like that in training every day, and in games he certainly does that, he’s so enthusiastic.
“He runs here, there and everywhere and is a nightmare if you’re marking him.”
The 27-year-old has an impressive record against Sunderland, having scored in both games against them last season, but the forward would be fussed if he didn't have to contribute in Wanderers' relegation run-in.
“I did manage to score a couple against Sunderland last season and it would be nice if I could be involved this weekend even if it’s coming off the bench.
“I’ve said all along that it would be great if I’m actually not needed and we can survive anyway.
“Then I could get the knee back up to 110 per cent just to make sure.
“If I wasn’t needed we’d have time to get it absolutely right.”
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