Jeremain Lens to return next week after surgery

The Dutchman could be back to face Southampton next weekend.

Jeremain Lens to return next week after surgery
Lens is expected to be back in training at the end of next week. | Photo: Chronicle Live

Jeremain Lens could be back for Sunderland's clash with Southampton next weekend after undergoing hernia surgery.

The winger will be a welcome return too, with the Black Cats preparing to play three games in eight days and so sure to be thrilled about the potential of some fresh legs.

Manager Sam Allardyce confirmed as much when speaking to the press ahead of Saturday's game with West Ham United, saying, via Chronicle Live, that Lens "has had surgery" and is now "not too far away" from returning.

"He will probably be back [in training] at the end of next week," the boss continued, adding that he then could be back playing at Southampton if he recovers as expected.

Positives all around

The good news about Lens follows a whole host of positive injury updates that Allardyce has been able to deliver this week.

Jan Kirchhoff and Billy Jones both suffered injuries prior to their week off, but the manager revealed that they have both recovered from their respective problems to be in line for Saturday's game.

He described Kirchhoff's injury, which forced him off early in the 2-1 win against Manchester United, as something that "wasn't too serious," with it "more of a twinge than a pull" of the hamstring.

Kirchhoff should be good to go again this weekend, despite having to come off early against United. | Photo: Reuters
Kirchhoff should be good to go again this weekend, despite having to come off early against United. | Photo: Reuters

Jones, on the other hand, missed the United game altogether with a hip injury, but is "all right" now after a welcome break.

Long term absentees Sebastian Larsson and Younes Kaboul are also back in training as they continue their comebacks from injury - Larsson having been out since November with a knee ligament problem, whilst Kaboul sprained his ankle last month just as he was returning from a hamstring injury.

Lack of width remains

Despite all the positives, Allardyce is still enduring the unwanted type of selection headache when it comes to the wings - particularly on the right.

Wahbi Khazri should continue on the left this weekend, but it seems that Dame N'Doye will have to continue on the right despite being an out-and-out striker whose attributes aren't well suited to the role.

That is not just because of Lens' injury, but because of the sacking of Adam Johnson too, as well as an injury to Duncan Watmore.

Watmore had to be withdrawn early on in the game against Liverpool at Anfield, and Allardyce confirmed that he is "still a while away" from returning, with him to be out for "several weeks" due to ligament damage.