Key Cats trio in line for return

Published Jan. 11, 2011 1:16 p.m. ET

Lee Cattermole, Nedum Onuoha and Danny Welbeck have all been pivotal in the Black Cats' rise into the top six this season, but injury looked set to rule them out of this weekend's game, which Bruce is desperate to win following a 5-1 drubbing in the reverse fixture. Cattermole injured his back against Blackpool on December 28, while Onuoha damaged his hamstring in the same game. Welbeck suffered a hamstring injury of his own at Aston Villa last Wednesday, but Bruce admits the trio may return against Alan Pardew's men. He said on his club's official website: "Onuoha, Cattermole and Welbeck might be in the equation, but we'll see how things go. It's early in the week right now. I hope we'll have some of our big players back for Sunday's game. "One thing you want is your players going out there 100% fit. If they're not they don't play, it's as simple as that. "They will have to train tomorrow, Thursday and Friday before I even consider them. "One thing I've learnt over the years is if you try to rush someone back before they are fully fit, they are useless."