Campbell keen to prove fitness
FRAIZER CAMPBELL is still to take part in a full training session this week, but the Sunderland striker is determined to prove his fitness ahead of Saturday's trip to his former employers, Tottenham. Campbell injured his hip in last week's Carling Cup defeat to Aston Villa, and was forced to sit out last weekend's Premier League draw with West Ham. With Kenwyne Jones seeing red against the Hammers, Sunderland are a striker short as they prepare to travel to White Hart Lane without the Trinidad and Tobago international. Campbell would be a likefor- like replacement, and having made just one league start during an unsuccessful ninemonth loan spell at Spurs last season, the 22-year-old is desperate to be involved in two days' time. His participation remains in doubt, but with a full day's training scheduled for today and tomorrow, a place in the matchday squad remains a strong possibility. I'm not quite ready yet, but I'm nearly there, said Campbell, who boasts five senior starts since moving to Sunderland in the summer. I'm not sure what the problem is I've done something to my hip and it's fairly touch and go at the moment. But I'm still confident that I'll be back (on Saturday). I'm not fully fit, but I think I have a chance. I remember feeling it quite badly in the last game I played, and it was hurting, but hopefully I'll get on the training pitch before the Spurs game, get a few sessions under my belt and play at least some part in Saturday's game. Campbell's presence would provide a timely boost to Black Cats boss Steve Bruce, who will also be without midfielders Lorik Cana and Lee Cattermole as he attempts to stem a run of four league away games without a victory. While Campbell has spent the majority of his career as a striker, he is equally at home on the right of midfield, and his availability would enable Bruce to field a 4-5-1 formation with Kieran Richardson, Jordan Henderson and either Steed Malbranque or Bolo Zenden filling the central areas. Alternatively, Campbell could partner Darren Bent in a more adventurous 4-4-2 formation, a system that would enable him to stake a place for an extended run in the side at the expense of Jones. I was sat in the stands last weekend and was feeling frustrated, said the Yorkshireman. I was watching it like everyone else feeling frustrated that Kenwyne had got sent off because we looked like we were going to go on and win the game. But that bad news for Kenwyne could turn into good news for me. Hopefully, I can get in there and do all right now. There are a few strikers at this club, and we have to share out the first-team opportunities. You have to be patient because it's a squad game, but when you get chances, you have to go on and take them. That's why I'm desperate to be fit for Saturday. Meanwhile, Bruce is hoping that Cattermole will return to action a month ahead of schedule. The Stockton-born midfielder damaged his medial knee ligaments in last month's win over Liverpool, and was not expected to return before the start of the New Year. However, with a brace expected to be removed from his knee shortly, Bruce claims his £6m summer capture from Wigan could be playing early next month. Cattermole being Cattermole, I would think he will be back more quickly than the doctors have predicted, said the Sunderland boss. The kind of person he is, I have this feeling he might be out for eight weeks rather than the 12 that was said at the start. I'll have to be governed by the medical people, but knowing Lee's mentality, he'll be keen to get back as quickly as possible.
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