CHRIS MAGUIRE has restarted light training at the Academy of Light this week, but Sunderland are still likely to have to cope without him when Coventry head to Wearside this weekend.

The 30-year-old has not figured since breaking his leg in the victory over Gillingham on February 19 but his recovery has gone to plan as much as he would have liked.

It means he is not far away from making a return to action in the League One run-in and that would be a welcome boost to manager Jack Ross as he looks for more options in the final third.

Sunderland have most recently had Lynden Gooch and Aiden McGeady join Maguire and Duncan Watmore on the treatment table, all players capable of playing wide.

McGeady appears to be the nearest to playing but even he does not look destined to figure against Coventry, which will also see midfielder Dylan McGeouch miss out with the abdominal strain collected against Burton in midweek.

James Fowler, the Sunderland assistant manager, said: “Injuries are much the same. One or two have done light training. Dylan will miss the game, he has a slight strain, so is added to the list.

“Chris Maguire trained today, it’s the first time back on the training ground for him. But still maybe a little bit soon. We will see how he is feeling today and tomorrow. He has been out a while, once you get back with the group you see how the fitness is.

“Aiden and Lee Cattermole are still injury doubts. It would be great to have them back in and they will be assessed over the next 24 hours for Saturday.”

Sunderland edged up to second by a point on Tuesday by drawing with Burton and they still have a game in hand over Barnsley in third.

Fowler, speaking instead of Jack Ross who took a break from pre-match press duties today, said: “It’s been our target since the start of the season, we currently find ourselves there, six big games to go and lots to play for.

"The last ten days after the cup final, to take seven points after those, we are relatively pleased.

"You have to give credit to Burton who were good, those games maybe caught up with us a little, not so much mentally but physically, with decision making maybe not what we needed at times but seven points since the final we would have taken it.

“From day one the manager has always said about promotion and that has been the aim since day one, the final was a bonus we wanted to win, but the main focus from the club should be OK, the automatic spots should be the aim and hopefully we can continue that.

“We have two big home games coming up, Coventry have a decent run of form. We have watched them recently and they will be a threat, they will believe they could nick in the play-offs themselves if they can get a good run.”