Phil Bardsley close to Sunderland return

Phil Bardsley and Lucas Jutkiewicz
© PA Photos
Scottish full-back Phil Bardsley is included in Sunderland's development squad following an ankle injury.

Sunderland have included Phil Bardsley's in the club's under-21 squad to face Stoke City this evening.

The defender is yet to feature for the senior side this year because of an ankle problem.

However, he played 45 minutes during a friendly against Middlesbrough last week and didn't suffer any reaction.

He will now step up his return against the Potters tonight, with a view to being part of the squad that faces Newcastle United in the Premier League next time out.

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