Arca in fitness race
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Julio Arca is facing a race against time to be fit for this week's clash with Aston Villa.Sunderland ace Julio Arca is facing a race against time to be fit for this week's clash with Aston Villa.
Arca has been sidelined for the last few weeks after suffering a recurrence of a toe injury in last month's defeat to Newcastle.
The versatile performer had hoped that the international break would allow him to return to full fitness, but Arca admits he is still some way off being 100 percent fit.
"At the moment, my chances of playing look slim, but my toe does feel a lot better," Arca told the club's official website.
"I'm hoping to do some running tomorrow and then maybe return to training before the end of the week.
"If I can do that and everything is okay, I might be on the bench against Villa. We will wait and see."
Arca accepts the Villa meeting is a massive clash for Sunderland after losing their last five games.
"It's a massive game for both clubs," he said.
"If we don't start winning, the pressure will really build."
Meanwhile, Stephen Wright has declared himself fit for Mick McCarthy's side this weekend.
The former Liverpool full back has not played since the opening day of the season because of a knee injury.
Wright successfully came through a reserve team outing last week and he has made himself available for McCarthy.
"I'm ready if the manager wants me, but I know I face a battle to get back into the side," said Wright.