Everton prospect Nathan Broadhead is facing a battle to return for Sunderland’s crucial play-off semi-final first leg.
The striker has played a key role in the Black Cats’ promotion bid, scoring five goals in April as he helped his loan club secure a play-off berth. Two of those goals were stoppage time winners and he scored the only goal against Morecambe on Saturday in a game Sunderland needed to win to be sure their season was kept alive.
Broadhead was then taken off after picking up a knock that has left him in doubt for the play-off first leg against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.
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Speaking ahead of the game, Sunderland boss Alex Neil was coy on the 24-year-old’s fitness following the muscle injury sustained on the Lancashire coast, simply saying: “We’ll make a call on Broady.”
Broadhead has hit 10 goals in 20 League One games and played a vital role in helping Sunderland reach the play-offs. Late winners against Shrewsbury Town and Gillingham, along with the only goal at Morecambe, helped the club reach fifth place.
Broadhead isn’t the only Everton striker to have impressed on loan in recent weeks with Ellis Simms enjoying a successful spell at Hearts. The 21-year-old scored the opening goal as Hearts beat Hibernian to reach the Scottish Cup final last month.