REECE JAMES and Adam Matthews are both back in contention for Sunderland’s promotion showdown with Portsmouth.

The full-back duo have both returned to training this week, having spent almost a month on the sidelines, and have a chance of being involved as Sunderland look to keep their automatic-promotion hopes alive on Saturday.

James could replace Bryan Oviedo at left-back, with the Costa Rica international having picked up a knock in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Peterborough United, while Matthews will compete with Luke O’Nien for the right-back berth.

Sunderland boss Jack Ross said: “We’re edging back to pretty much a fully-fit squad. Duncan Watmore is the only one that really remains out, and he’s getting closer as well.

“There’s obviously quite a few in that group who have only really returned to training this week, but other than Duncan, we’re getting towards everyone at least being back on the training pitch. Whether they’re at full match fitness is another issue, but at least they’re back on the training pitch.

“Reece and Adam have been back training for a few days. Adam has been out that little bit longer, Reece was out for less time, but they’re both back with the group now.

“We’ve had a lot of games, so we’ve only been training for a couple of days this week, but they’ve both managed that without any reaction.”