Campbell targets derby cup clash
Fraizer Campbell has declared he is ready to return to the Sunderland line-up and end his injury nightmare.
Last Updated: 25/01/12 12:21pm
Fraizer Campbell has declared he is ready to return to the Sunderland line-up and end his injury nightmare after being sidelined for 18 months.
The 24-year-old has not played for the Black Cats since August 2010 and has regained his fitness after two separate cruciate knee ligament injuries.
Campbell has stepped up his claims for a place in Martin O'Neill's team as he came through 79 minutes in the reserves against Bolton.
And the former England Under-21 international would like to make his first-team return when Sunderland face rivals Middlesbrough in the FA Cup this weekend.
"It's all I've been able to think about for the last 18 months and I'm getting closer all the time now," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"Of course it will take a little bit of time for me to get my sharpness back, but if I was called up to play or be on the bench this weekend, I am ready.
"It's up to the manager to decide, but if he wants to include me on the bench I will be delighted.
"There would be no-one happier than me to come back, get involved and be back amongst the goals again.
"I'll do everything I can, but of course it will take a little bit of time for me to get my sharpness back."
Campbell first damaged his knee against Manchester City two summers ago, but was unfortunate to injure the same knee last April in training.
He added: "It's hard to describe how frustrating it has been, but I just have to try to forget about it now and concentrate on getting back.
"Thankfully, I've not had any setbacks or problems after that second one."