Sunderland's Fraizer Campbell treating injury with care after scoring return from 18-month absence

The Black Cats’ striker insists he and the club are still monitoring his recovery and therefore will have to moderate his participation in order to avoid a return to the sidelines

Fraizer Campbell has insisted he is staying level-headed on his inspiring return to Sunderland's first-team football because he is still not fully confident that he is over his 18-month injury crisis.

With two goals and one assist in his first two games back in the side Campbell has been a welcome return for Martin O’Neill, but the club are still monitoring his recovery after such an extended period out.

After being plagued with two serious knee injuries the former Manchester United striker has been out of action for 18 months and is taking every precaution to make sure he does not suffer a reoccurrence.

"I am still keeping level-headed and taking things one step at a time," Campbell told the club’s official website.

"I don't want to play too many games at this stage and we are monitoring my knee and taking things really slowly. I don't want to be back where I was 18 months ago.

"It's going to take me a while to get back into the groove. Other players can keep playing and playing, but at this moment in time that wouldn't be the best thing for my knee or for me as a player."

Although he is keen to be cautious with his fitness he is hoping to play a part in tonight’s FA Cup replay against local rivals Middlesbrough, and was quick to point out the threat that the Championship club can pose.

"There'll be no surprises for us, Middlesbrough are a good team who really came at us at the Stadium of Light,” Campbell explained.

"We won't go down there thinking it's going to be easy. We will have to start the game better than we did in the first tie and if we do that then hopefully we can come away with a win.

"I know we have a lot of fans going down there - it should be a good atmosphere and as it's a derby we know there will be plenty of passion."