Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is hopeful of having German midfielder Jan Kirchhoff back sooner rather than later after the former Bayern Munich man limped off on Saturday with a hamstring injury.

“[The new boys were] absolutely fantastic, apart from Jan who picked up the hamstring, but hopefully he’ll be fit in a couple of weeks.

“We have a couple of weeks now for all the injuries to recover for the trip down to West Ham United. It is a good break to recover as many players as we can and get them out on that field and try and continue where we’ve left off.”

The German, along with the rest of his teammates have jetted off to Dubai for a winter training camp, with the Black Cats not in premier league action for another 11 days.

Kirchhoff was brought in originally to help the defence, following his £750,000 move from Bayern Munich. However, after a shaky debut, Allardyce moved Kirchhoff into a defensive midfield role, a position in which he excelled. After using Kirchhoff in that role, Big Sam has gone on record saying he sees no reason to move him into the back-line when he returns from injury in the coming weeks.

Read more from Chris Sparks