SUNDERLAND will have Glenn Loovens back in the squad as they head to Plymouth this weekend.

The centre-half has been out for a month with a hamstring after being injured in the draw at Coventry City.

But he will make the haul to Plymouth and boss Jack Ross said: “Glenn will come back into the squad for travelling. Ideally I would like to give him some game-time, but it’s not always possible. He’s trained fine, back out with the squad. The only longer term injuries are still unavailable.’’

Two of those in the latter category, Charlie Wyke and Duncan Whatmore are making progress and closing in on returns.

Both have been out with knee injuries, with Whatmore’s especially serious as it’s the second knee ligament injury he has suffered.

And Ross, speaking at his press conference at the Academy of Light this afternoon, revealed: “Charlie is where we expected him to be – probably around Christmas time is where we expected him to be and he probably feels he is a bit ahead of that. It’s a similar injury to earlier in the season and he feels better now than he did then – and we are not putting as much pressure on him now to rush him back.

“There was a real urgency to get him back before, because of limited options, but there’s a few more options now so we can be a bit more patient.’’

He added: “Duncan has now completed three weeks of full training, in every day which is a brilliant step forward. We are something like 11 months into his rehabilitation period, which second time around for that injury is a good benchmark. We can now start to get closer to game time, either Under-23s of behind closed doors. I would expect before the end of the year we would have him available.’’