Lee Burge is being eased again into coaching on the Academy of Light as he continues his restoration from a coronary heart downside. Burge has been out of motion since contracting Covid on the flip of the 12 months, however whereas a number of different Sunderland gamers who have been additionally struck down by the virus returned inside a few weeks, the 29-year-old has remained sidelined.
Then-boss Lee Johnson revealed in January that Burge had suffered coronary heart palpitations, had undergone checks, and had been ordered to relaxation. Johnson’s successor Alex Neil stated final month that Burge had been again on the coaching floor for a check-up with the medical employees, and in the present day he gave an additional replace, saying the keeper had joined in some gentle coaching.
“We’ve had some excellent news on Burgey, and the one motive I have never talked about him earlier than is as a result of I do not wish to put any stress on him,” Neil instructed ChronicleLive. “When you are speaking about very important organs, the very last thing you wish to do is begin placing stress on folks to come back again as a result of their well being is an important factor.
“But Lee is in a a lot better place now. His checks got here again comparatively regular, and there’s simply going to be a sluggish, gradual, build-up to get him doing a bit extra work over time, ensuring we do not over-exert him however that we get him to a very good place as rapidly as potential.
“He’s been round and in regards to the coaching floor, and he was out on the grass yesterday – albeit, as I say, he was doing restricted quantities to ensure we glance after him.” Burge had began the season as Sunderland’s first-choice keeper, earlier than dropping his place when Thorben Hoffmann joined on mortgage from Bayern Munich on the finish of August.
Burge’s final outing got here the week earlier than Christmas within the Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat at Arsenal, though he was on the bench for the subsequent two league video games between Christmas and the New Year earlier than testing constructive for Covid. Hoffmann additionally contracted Covid on the identical time, which meant Anthony Patterson needed to be referred to as again from his mortgage spell at Notts County originally of January.
Patterson performed a few video games earlier than Hoffmann was restored to the aspect, however then the German grew to become in poor health once more in early February which meant academy graduate Patterson donned the gloves as soon as extra and he has stored his place within the aspect ever since, regardless of Hoffmann recovering by mid-February.