Belfast Telegraph

Sunderland hopeful over Altidore

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet is confident striker Jozy Altidore will be fit for pre-season despite having his World Cup ruined by injury.

The 24-year-old frontman damaged a hamstring in the United States' opening Group G game against Ghana and although he was named on the bench for the last-16 defeat by Belgium, he played no further part in Brazil.

However, Poyet has revealed the Black Cats were kept fully informed of the player's condition throughout and expect him to be raring to go when he returns to Wearside after an extended break.

The Uruguayan told the club's official website, "From the beginning, the doctor has been in touch with the US medical staff.

"In the beginning it looked bad but it got much better during the weeks and Jozy was nearly available for the [last 16].

"If, say, the US had got through to the next stage, Jozy would have played a part.

"We know hamstring injuries are tricky and that you have to be careful not to come back too quickly.

"Jozy deserves his holidays now. We have an agreement as to how many days he will have after finishing in the World Cup.

"I am sure, if nothing goes wrong, that when Jozy is back with us for pre-season, he is going to be fit to start training without any problems."

Former Hull frontman Altidore joined Sunderland from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar for £6.5million last summer, but found the going tough in his first season back in English football.

He managed only two goals in 39 appearances for the club, just one of them in the Barclays Premier League.

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