Football - Gardner boost for Black Cats

Craig Gardner will return to the Sunderland squad for Monday night's vital Barclays Premier League trip to former club Aston Villa.

PA Sport

The defender missed the victories over Newcastle and Everton through suspension after reaching 10 bookings for the campaign, but is available once again.

Fellow full-back Phil Bardsley is fighting to shake off the ankle problem which kept him out of the 1-0 win over the Toffees last weekend, but strike Connor Wickham will miss out once again with a calf injury, as will long-term absentees Lee Cattermole (knee) and Steven Fletcher (ankle).

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