Sunderland journalist Phil Smith has been sharing some details regarding Black Cats full-back Dennis Cirkin and the possibility of him being available to play in the club’s upcoming League One clash against Portsmouth.
This comes after Smith made an appearance on a recent edition of The Roar Podcast from the Sunderland Echo, where he spoke about a variety of subjects concerning the Wearside club.
On the subject of Cirkin, who was forced off the pitch after picking up a suspected concussion in the club’s 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers, Smith had this to say about the possibility of the defender being available to play against Portsmouth.
He said: “Cirkin is obviously going through the return-to-play protocols, which are set out by the FA when you have a concussion.
“From what we could gather, theoretically, he could be available to face Portsmouth if he doesn’t have any issues between now and Saturday.
“I have to say that looking at the protocols, realistically, he’ll have had one day’s full training before the Portsmouth game.
“Given that Niall Huggins did so well and did well at Wigan last week as well, you have to wonder whether [Lee Johnson] would take that risk. I suppose we’ll wait and see.”
TIF Thoughts on Phil Smith’s comments on Cirkin and the possibility of him playing against Portsmouth…
Since then, the defender has made nine appearances for Lee Johnson’s side across League One and the Carabao Cup, in which he has managed to provide two assists in the process (per Transfermarkt).
Would you start Dennis Cirkin against Portsmouth?
In our view, given how Niall Huggins managed to earn himself a decent match rating of 7/10 for his “strong performance” in Sunderland’s midweek 5-0 win over Cheltenham Town from Chronicle Live, as Smith suggested himself, we feel that it would be the best option to not risk putting Cirkin back in the team to face Portsmouth given the seriousness of his head injury and just stick with Huggins for the time being.