ROSS STEWART has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury and will not be available to make his Sunderland debut in tomorrow’s home game with Doncaster Rovers.

Stewart was suffering from hamstring issues when he completed a £300,000 switch from Ross County at the end of last month.

He has spent the last week building up his fitness with Sunderland’s medical staff, but suffered a setback in training this week that means he will not be considered for tomorrow’s game.

His latest issue is not believed to be serious, but it is likely to mean his debut will have to be postponed for around a fortnight.

“Unfortunately, it’s another bit of bad news,” said Sunderland boss Lee Johnson. “He slipped in one of the training drills he was doing with the rehab physios. It’s a setback – it’s not a bad setback we hope, but he’s having a scan.

“He just felt something. He’s gone from not feeling anything for a two or two-and-a-half week period, which was great, to just feeling something, a bit of tightness.

“More than likely, the best-case scenario is that it’s just a bit of scar tissue that’s been dislodged. As long as the belly of the muscle is good, which we’ll find out from the scan, then we can up it again. But it’s probably going to be a week or ten days setback.”

Johnson has received more bad news with regard to Jordan Willis, with the centre-half having been ruled out for the remainder of the season with the knee injury that resulted in him being stretchered off during Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Shrewsbury.

“It’s probably a minimum six months out for him,” said the Sunderland boss. “What I suspected after the game has been confirmed – a ruptured patella tendon. He’s ruptured his tendon there, and he’s due to have surgery either today or next Thursday.

“I really feel for him. He’s a really good player, and it’s a huge loss for us. In my opinion, he’s got that Championship power and physicality that you need. He’s been nursing this injury for a long time – we’ve almost had to treat him like Paul McGrath used to be treated – and I just feel for him. He’s a good lad and a big part of our squad, and obviously he’ll be missed on the pitch.

“We’ll still see him off the pitch, but you can never quite bring your personality to the table when you’re not mixing with the boys like you do at away games and when you’re in close quarters with them.”