Press Association Poyet said: “He (Giaccherini) was like a new player in pre-season – he came back really strong and started the new season very well. “Then he got an injury which took him a while to come back from, and when he was coming back he got another kick in the same place which made the medical staff take the decision to have the operation. “Towards the end (of last season) when we did the miracle he was a very, very important player – he was coming from the bench and changing games. “It’s tough but I think it’s the risk of forward players. We need to be sure he is 100 per cent and we wish him well and hope he will make a full recovery.” Poyet has a number of injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester United, with Billy Jones, Jack Rodwell and Will Buckley all battling to be passed fit. The 29-year-old had an operation on Thursday on the injury that flared back up in the FA Cup replay win at Fulham earlier this month, and has been ruled out for a minimum of 12 weeks. Black Cats boss Gus Poyet confirmed the loss of the Italian – who played a role in his side’s successful survival mission from the bench last season – but said surgery was the only option. Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini is unlikely to play again this season after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury.
Riding a four-game winning streak at home, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team will travel to Ann Arbor to square off against conference foe Michigan Sunday for its first road game in October.The Badgers (9-2-1, 1-1-0 Big Ten) have been on a hot streak lately, defeating the 2012 national champions Indiana last Friday and tallying another win against Western Illinois Tuesday night. With a squad of 13 seniors, head coach John Trask believes it is the maturity as well as the health of the team that has been the keys to recent victories.“I just think we’re mature,” Trask said. “We’ve had a couple of injuries early in the season and it seems like — knock on wood — we’re pretty healthy at this point. And it just gives us a lot of options. The guys have really settled into positions and we haven’t had, other than a couple of injuries, a lot of movement of players in and out. And it seems to be going pretty smoothly.”Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in overall goals scored and is currently third in the conference standings. But, despite the good play of late, the motivated Badgers are still looking to improve.“I think that we can continue to get better on our set pieces, both offensively and defensively,” Trask said. “And we’re always striving to be better in possession even though I thought we were excellent [Tuesday] night. It’s still an area that the guys know could be improved. “Redshirt senior midfielder Tomislav Zadro sees himself and the team needing to finish more of their chances if they want to continue being successful down the road.Tuesday night the Badgers dominated possession with nine corner kicks and 27 shots, but only one goal to show for it. Zadro provided the game’s only score, finishing a rebound of a penalty kick save by Western Illinois.“You can say that we didn’t finish a lot of our chances, the good thing is that we were creating them,” Trask said. “Some days it’s just hard to score goals. And that’s why you need to defend well and we did that last night and eventually we just found a way to squeak one over the line.”Much of the recent success can be attributed to the scoring of senior midfielder Nick Janus, who has netted six goals this season, and the return of Zadro to the lineup. Following minor meniscus surgery on his right knee, Zadro returned to the field like he had never left with an assist in the Indiana game and the lone goal Tuesday. His return has made Wisconsin’s already-explosive offense even better. Senior defenseman AJ Cochran has also been an offensive contributor while leading UW’s back line. Cochran scored two crucial goals against Indiana including the game-winning header goal in the 84th minute.However, Michigan (4-4-3, 1-2-0 Big Ten) is fresh off a win at home against No. 12 Creighton and has won three of their last four games. The Wolverines knocked Wisconsin out of last year’s Big Ten Tournament, but the Badgers are eager to get back on the field, seeing the game for just what it is: another tough conference away game.“This is like any other game,” Zadro said. “No matter who we play we treat each game with the same importance.”But with only six conference games, all games against Big Ten opponents take on undeniably more meaning. Wisconsin is 1-1 in conference play with the majority of its Big Ten schedule left on the docket.“With the Big Ten experiencing roundabouts each weekend and with there being only seven teams, each one of those six games takes on that much greater significance,” Trask said. “We’re all fighting to hopefully catch Penn State at some point. They’re in the drivers seat with nine points, we’re sitting on three so there’s another three points available on Sunday.”The team started watching film on Michigan Wednesday as they prepare for the Wolverines. While the team has not been on the road for several weeks, Trask and his squad are excited to travel to Michigan and try to play spoiler for the home team.“It’s a beautiful stadium, beautiful environment for a college soccer game. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fans there, and we’re just expecting a tough Big Ten contest on the road,” Trask said. “For us as a team it’s a huge game, and I know our guys enjoy playing at Michigan, so I’m looking forward to it and the team is as well.”