Paolo Di Canio expects Wes Brown to be in contention for the Premier League opener against Fulham despite deciding to rest him in Denmark.
Former Manchester United defender Brown suffered a minor reaction after his exertions in Hong Kong and the Sunderland boss opted to rest him – along with Ji Dong-Won, who seems set to play a frontline role for the Black Cats this season.
Brown’s long battle with injuries has been well documented at the Stadium of Light and he missed the whole of last season as he struggled to shake off a knee problem.
But it is a measure of Brown’s pre-season renaissance that Di Canio hopes to have him fit enough to play an “important role” when the campaign kicks off. “He had a little problem and we decided not to risk him today,” Di Canio revealed.
“He has had a very good pre-season which was a surprise for everyone, even him.
“We didn’t want to risk him because he’s an important player now.
“On Wednesday he was running again and on Thursday he can train harder because I want him to be available as soon as possible.”