FORMER Sunderland skipper George Honeyman is “desperate” to play against the Black Cats at the weekend, but Millwall boss Neil Harris admits the midfielder is touch and go for the game at the Stadium of Light.

Prudhoe-born Honeyman joined Sunderland’s academy as a ten-year-old and progressed through the ranks to make his first-team debut in 2015.

He established himself as a first-team regular during the Championship relegation season, and was named as captain under Jack Ross in League One.

However, he left to join Hull City in the summer of 2019 and subsequently moved on to Millwall three seasons later.

Now 29, he has been a key part of Millwall’s starting line-up for most of the current campaign, but missed last weekend’s win over Cardiff after sustaining a shoulder injury in the previous week’s victory against Leicester.

As a result, he is rated as 50-50 for Saturday’s showdown with Sunderland. Given his links with the Black Cats, Honeyman is understandably keen to be involved, but with Millwall having moved a relatively-comfortable six points clear of the drop zone, Harris will not be taking any unnecessary risks.

“It will be an ongoing one,” said the Millwall boss. “It is really how the shoulder settles. He is desperate to be involved at Sunderland, his former club, and, if he is not, to be involved in the last home game of the season. He is an absolute winner and desperate to play football as part of the group.


“But we have to be careful with George that we are not pushing too hard that we have any longer-term damage to the shoulder. That is a fine balance at the moment.

“It really will be a tight call with George on whether he is back on the training pitch on Thursday and Friday – to be involved this weekend – or it could go the other way and we call it for this season and look at getting him ready for pre-season. It’s a huge 48 hours for George.”

Sunderland’s interim head coach, Mike Dodds, has fitness calls of his own to make with Aji Alese and Corry Evans on the comeback trail.

Alese was a second-half substitute in both last weekend’s win at West Brom and the previous Tuesday’s draw with Leeds, and Dodds must decide whether the defender is ready to make what would be a first start since mid-January.

Evans was not involved in the matchday squad for either of the last two games, and has not played a first-team game all season after undergoing cruciate surgery more than 12 months ago.