BRADLEY Dack is expected to be sidelined for another month, while Michael Beale says it's still not possible to set a Sunderland return date for Corry Evans.

Dack hasn't featured for the Black Cats since pulling up with a hamstring problem against Hull City on Boxing Day, while Evans has been out of action for more than a year after suffering a serious knee injury against Middlesbrough last January.

On Dack, Beale said: "He's been back out the last couple of days. You're probably looking at the start of next month for Bradley."

Beale said Evans is a "little bit behind" Elliot Embleton, who is set to return to action for the Under-21s on Friday night.

He said: "He's still a little way off. When you have the injury he's had there's always going to be small complications."


The club captain has been a big miss on and off the pitch over the last 12 months.

Beale said: "Mentors in the changing room when it's such a young group is important. Don't get me wrong, a young group has no fear and it's vibrant and lively but mentors are still important.

"It's hard to be that if you're not playing. You can do that around the training ground but it's hard when you're not around it.

"We've certainly missed that. You don't play as many games and be an international and club captain if you don't have something about you. We can't replace what we don't have with him. Someone like Luke O'Nien has really stepped up.

"He's been a real leader in the dressing room but when Corry comes back it will be a big asset to the group."