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Fletcher on verge of Sunderland return but Poyet will be patient

Steven Fletcher is close to returning for Sunderland but manager Gus Poyet will not be careless with his comeback.

The Scotland striker has been sidelined by an Achilles problem since late January and although he is a chance to play against Arsenal this weekend, Poyet wants him fully fit for the Capital One Cup final with Manchester City on March 2.

"He will start tomorrow with us (at training)," the Uruguayan told the Sunderland Echo.

"Then, depending on how he feels, we can either accelerate him for Arsenal or make sure he is right for the final.

"He's had a programme with the expectation that he will be able to play at Arsenal.

"I don't know Achilles injuries, but for people I have known, they are always worried about feeling something, so we'll have to see how he is.

"Perfection would be for him to play against Arsenal. I would like to have him for then, even if it's on the bench.

"That would be a great situation for him to feel part of the group again and playing. If not, I would like to think he will be alright for the final."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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