Keeper returns to Lincoln City squad for crucial play-off clash

Lincoln boss Michael Appleton will be able to call upon keeper Alex Palmer for today’s (May 22) play-off second leg after he was cleared to return under concussion protocols.

West Brom loanee Palmer missed the midweek game after being hit in the face by a ball in training, prompting the Imps to hastily arrange an emergency short-term deal with Stoke to bring in 20-year-old Josef Bursik, but the former will return on Wearside.

Central defender Joe Walsh will return to the squad after missing the first leg through injury.

However, Adam Jackson will sit out with the calf injury he suffered 15 minutes into that game, although he could yet make the final if Lincoln make it to Wembley.

Michael Appleton. Photo: Getty Images

Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson will be without defenders Denver Hume and Conor McLaughlin for Saturday’s League One play-off semi-final, second leg clash with Lincoln.

Full-back Hume damaged a hamstring during the 2-0 first leg defeat at the LNER Stadium on Wednesday evening, while McLaughlin has a stress fracture in his back, and neither will play again this season should the Black Cats progress.

However, midfielder Aiden McGeady is available to line up at the Stadium of Light after his participation from the off was thrown into doubt by a contractual issue.

Johnson has revealed that he is free to select the Republic of Ireland international in his line-up after an agreement was reached amid reports that a 30th league start of the season would automatically trigger a 12-month extension for the 35-year-old.