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Sunderland expect Jozy Altidore to be fit by the start of preseason

Jozy Altidore's hamstring won't keep him out of Sunderland's preseason.

Mark Runnacles

Jozy Altidore's hamstring strain should not affect his availability for Sunderland. The club is happy with his rehab and expect him to be at 100 percent for the the Black Cats' preseason training.

"From the beginning the doctor has been in touch with the US medical staff," Poyet told the club's website.

"In the beginning it [the injury] looked bad, but it got much better during the weeks and Jozy was nearly available for the [last 16].

"If say the US had got through to the next stage, Jozy would have played a part."

Sunderland don't start training camp yet and Altidore is going to be a little behind on that, but that was planned. The club and player agreed on how much time off Altidore would get off after the World Cup, time that he is now going to take. When that is over then he will join up with Sunderland, likely having just missed a few days and with plenty of time to get ready for the upcoming season.

"We know hamstring injuries are tricky and that you have to be careful not to come back too quickly. Jozy deserves his holidays now," Poyet continued.

"We have an agreement as to how many days he will have after finishing in the World Cup.

"I am sure, if nothing goes wrong, that when Jozy is back with us for pre-season he is going to be fit to start training without any problems."

After last season's struggles, Altidore desperately needs a good year at the Stadium of Light and it has to start quick. He can't afford to struggle early on and expect to keep getting chances late in the season again. An injury would have been a major blow to his chances with the Black Cats, but he's expected to be fit and that means he'll get his opportunity to start quickly.

Sunderland still don't have great strikers, but Altidore has to play well and do so right away to turn things around. At least this injury won't be what keeps him from doing that.