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March 14 (Reuters) - Sunderland striker Fabio Borini has welcomed Jan Kirchhoff's return from injury with the Italian believing the midfielder can have a major say in the basement club's battle for Premier League survival.
Kirchhoff, who featured in an under-23 game against Manchester United last week, joined the Black Cats from Bayern Munich in January 2016 and the German played a crucial role in helping the side avoid the drop last season.
"We all hope that (he can have a similar impact as last season) because Jan is a big guy," Borini told the club website. (www.safc.com)
"That is the kind of player we have missed in midfield because he can do both transitions -- offensive and defensive -- in a very good manner."
With 11 league games to go, Sunderland, who are seven points adrift of safety, host 12th-placed Burnley on Saturday. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru)