Dan Wright has returned to parent club Sunderland after an ankle injury cut short his loan spell at South Shields.

The midfielder made four appearances for the Mariners after arriving on a month-long loan in January.

The 20-year-old suffered an ankle ligament injury in training last week, which is set to rule him out for a number of weeks.

It ended Shields’ hopes of extending his temporary stay at Mariners Park.

Joint manager Lee Picton said: “It was just a freak accident where the ball bent his ankle back, and he damaged his ankle ligaments.

“He has been one of the bright sparks for us over the last couple of weeks, and we were looking to hopefully extend his loan period.

“We’re going to have to put a check on that one now and Dan will have to recover at Sunderland before there’s a possibility of us bringing him back here.

“We don’t even know if he’s going to be fit again for the rest of the season, so that’s another blow for us.”

Joint manager Graham Fenton has backed on-loan Sunderland youngster Dan Wright to impress in his spell at South Shields.

Midfielder Wright joined Shields on a youth loan from the Black Cats last Friday, and is due to be with the club until February 11.

The 20-year-old, from South Shields, impressed on his debut for his hometown club on Saturday after being introduced as a second half substitute in the 5-1 win over Mossley.

Fenton believes he will continue to shine during his time at Mariners Park.

He said: “I like Dan. We’re really pleased to have him on board.

“He shows really good technique and is comfortable on the ball, and you could see on Saturday that he’s aware of his spaces.

“He’s a young lad and is going to take a little while to settle in, but we’re expecting really good things over the time he’s here.”

Wright’s most recent appearance for Sunderland’s Under-23s side saw him score twice in a 2-1 win over Derby County on January 7.

He has featured for England’s Under-16s, Under-17s and Under-18s, and is known for his ability to keep the ball and time his runs into the box.

This is Wright’s first taste of senior football, and he is relishing the chance to make an impact at Mariners Park.

He said: “I’m just hoping to get some game-time and get used to men’s football.

“I really hope I get the opportunity to do that here.

“This is my hometown club and I’ve been to watch a few of the games over the last few years, so I’m buzzing to be here.”

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.