Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon is hoping to put a difficult season behind him and push on for the Black Cats next year.

The 28-year-old Scottish international stopper has been plagued by injury in 2010/11, but is determined to rediscover his fitness, and form ahead of the new campaign.

"It's been a frustrating season for me, ever since I started the season by breaking my arm again in training," he said.

"The arm is fine now and I put it behind me, but then I started to have the problem with my knee.

"I never felt like I've been 100% fit. I've been struggling through trying to get the best out of my body.


 

"But I've had the operation now and the early indications are that it's going well."

Gordon made only 15 appearances for the Black Cats last season, leaving him six short of the 100 milestone, since his £9million move to the Stadium of Light four years ago.

And though the start of the new campaign may come a little too soon for him, Gordon has set his sights on reaching that goal an re-establishing himself as Sunderland and Steve Bruce’s no.1.

"I'll concentrate on the rehab side of things over the summer and I'll be back in before everyone else ahead of pre-season training.

"Hopefully I'll be there or thereabouts around the start of the season but it'll probably be later than that when I can actually play some games.

"At least that's something to aim for. I always seem to be playing catch up and that's not an ideal way to start the season," he continued.

"But I've always managed to come back in and play well and I know what it takes to get my body into the right physical shape for playing in this league."

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Craig Gordon