Sunderland and Tony Mowbray were rocked earlier in the campaign as their prolific striker and last season’s top scorer picked up a hamstring injury during a pre-match warm-up in September and hasn’t been seen since.
This has also coincided with the Black Cats struggling for consistent form and goals, having scored just once in their last three league games, while players such as Alex Pritchard and Amad Diallo have been deployed through the middle in unnatural positions.
Smith has now dealt a big blow to any fans’ hopes of seeing Stewart in the near future, claiming it’s unlikely he’ll be seen before their winter break.
He said: “Stewart is too important to take a risk with. Fingers crossed, he can play a couple of games before the World Cup, but I think it’s highly unlikely, and there’s no way I’d be taking any sort of risk with him because we’ve seen in the last few weeks how important he is.”
Will Stewart play before the World Cup?
TIF Thoughts on Stewart’s injury…
That won’t have been the news Sunderland fans will have wanted to hear from Smith regarding Stewart’s injury, as his goals could be what propels them towards a play-off spot, instead of fighting it out in mid-table.
Despite having played just seven games all season, Stewart is still Sunderland’s top scorer with five goals this term and was proving to be a huge hit in the Championship, but given his importance to the club, we also feel there is no need to risk him.
Therefore, it remains on those standing in to deliver the goods and avoid the Black Cats’ season derailing without Stewart’s services.