DYLAN McGEOUCH is a doubt for Sunderland’s weekend trip to Burton Albion, but Jack Ross has been boosted by Aiden McGeady’s return to training this week.

McGeouch is struggling with a muscular problem, and while Ross has not ruled him out of the trip to the Pirelli Stadium, the midfielder is regarded as a major doubt. Similarly, Ross could well opt to leave Bryan Oviedo out of his starting line-up as the full-back only returned from international duty with Costa Rica in the early hours of this morning.

Denver Hume and Jack Baldwin have shaken off minor knocks to ensure their availability for the Burton game, and there is an outside chance McGeady could also be involved as he approaches a first-team return.

The Irish international missed the opening month of the season with a serious calf injury, and his return will provide a major boost given his extensive experience at Premier League and international level.

Ross said: “We’ve had a couple of issues with Denver and Jack, but they’ve trained today and they’re okay. We’ve got a slight concern with Dylan, but it’s only really Duncan (Watmore) now on the long-term list.

“Aiden has joined in training this week. He’s been out for four months, so he’ll be out for a little while yet, but he feels that joining in with us will accelerate his progress quicker. They were tough sessions, so we’re definitely getting closer in terms of having him available.”

Sunderland terminated the contract of midfielder Papy Djilobodji this week, although legal proceedings are pending with the Frenchman set to contest his dismissal.

With legal issues still outstanding, Ross was understandably reluctant to discuss the technicalities of this week’s events. However, he has been pleased with the way those above him have handled the absence of both Djilobodji and Didier Ndong.

“As I’ve said all along, it hasn’t really affected me directly,” said Ross. “His (Djilobodji) absence means I haven’t really had to deal with anything around him.

“It didn’t really impact on me, although a lot of people have worked extremely hard to try to find a resolution. From my perspective, it’s been relatively straight-forward.

“I don’t want to talk about the specifics because I don’t want to prejudice anything moving forward, but there are clearly lessons for the club to look back on.

“It probably reflects a sea change we want to enact in every aspect of the club, and how we conduct ourselves moving forward. There are so many different facets to a football club, and it’s in a good learning experience in terms of making sure we don’t find ourselves in a similar position in the future. We don’t want to find ourselves in a similar scenario again.”