Victor Anichebe has travelled to America in a bid to speed his return to Sunderland’s survival campaign.
The powerhouse striker has been out of action since rupturing his medial ligament against his old club West Bromwich Albion in January, in his first outing as a sub, having recovered from a hamstring strain suffered on New Year’s Eve.
Anichebe’s knee injury was a much more serious problem and it came as a bodyblow to Sunderland, who were desperate to see him reprise his partnership with Jermain Defoe.
Manager David Moyes has been working on the basis that Anichebe will return in April – a month that will see Sunderland face six games – and sent the 28-year-old Stateside in a bid to fast-track his recovery.
“We’ve sent Victor to work with a specialist in America and he should be back shortly,” said Moyes.
“He’s running and he’s back on it so we felt that sending him to someone who can work one-on-one with him constantly [was the best option], and it looks like it’s working.
“My aim was to get him back for as much of April as I can, and I can’t guarantee that at the moment but we’re doing everything we can.”
Sunderland’s best spell of the season came when Anichebe was brought into the starting XI in November, with the frontman scoring three goals and helping the Black Cats win four out of seven games before Christmas.
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