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Di Canio unsure over Fletcher return

14 August 2013 18:29

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has refused to put a definitive timescale on striker Steven Fletcher's return from injury.

The striker has been absent since March when he suffered an ankle ligament injury against Wales while on international duty with Scotland.

Fletcher had been enjoying a fine debut season until the setback, scoring 11 goals in the Premier League.

Di Canio is optimistic the 26-year-old will soon return to first-team action but insisted he will not rush him back into the side and risk further damage.

"His improvement has surprised everybody – we are happy, but more importantly he is happy and excited," Di Canio told the club's official website.

"We don’t have to (take a) risk. It would be silly to anticipate a time. We won’t force it just because we see improvement, because another injury now could put him out for longer; it would be stupid.

"In a few weeks, maybe we can see Fletcher in action. We will keep our fingers crossed. He and the staff have done a very good job; we have handled the situation very well.

"We expect to see him in the next few weeks. I can’t say two, three or four – we will see."

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Monday 29 December

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Saturday 27 December

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
12 19 -2 21
13 19 -11 21
14 19 -11 20
15 19 -13 18
16 19 -10 17

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