On-loan Spurs striker’s absence explained

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Kazaiah Sterling joined Sunderland A.F.C. at the end of January on a half-season loan but has not featured in the match day squads in the Black Cats’ last two games.

The 18-year-old joined the Wearsiders from Tottenham Hotspur in order to gain more first-team action.

However, the youngster was pulled from the squad which saw Sunderland draw 2-2 against Accrington Stanley, revealed manager Jack Ross to the Shields Gazette.

“Kaz was unfit,” said Ross.

“We thought he would be OK but he had to pull out [of the Stanley game] quite late on.

Sterling has returned to training but it is reported the striker may miss the League One game against Gillingham tonight, too.

“He’s trained [Monday] but obviously it’s been a little bit stop-start for him with a couple of knocks.”

Sunderland have struggled for goals since the turn of the year leading to a possible opportunity in the first team when he returns.

“At the moment, we can only select 16 outfield players [in the squad] so with us pretty much at full health, there’s always going to be four or five who miss out.

“At one stage we were probably having to push some of the boys [who weren’t fully fit] but now we can be a bit more measured in that respect,” added the Sunderland boss.

Sterling has found himself behind the likes of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Fernando Llorente in the attacking pecking order in North London.

He made a late cameo appearance in Tottenham’s FA Cup exit at the hands of Crystal Palace last month due to the injury crisis and has found first-team opportunities to be few and far between.

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