Duo In Fitness Race

Last updated : 13 April 2004 By Brian Cartlidge

Savage limped out of the defeat to Portsmouth on Monday obviously still suffering the effects of the twisted ankle he sustained in saturdays home defeat to Manchester Utd whilst John left Fratton Park with his arm strapped after picking up a shoulder injury in the 3-1 defeat to Pompey.

Manager Steve Bruce is already down to the bare bones in terms of team selection with Martin Grainger, Darren Purse and Stan Lazaridis all long term injury casualties. Bruce had to include youngster Carl Motteram in his 16-man squad for the game at Fratton Park because of a lack of fit players.

However, record signing David Dunn could make a return in saturdays game at The Valley after two months on the sidelines with a torn hamstring.