LEAGUES ONE & TWO LATEST: Sunderland hoping on star striker’s fitness for Checkatrade Trophy final, revolutionary treatment on Ben Whiteman’s ankle at Doncaster Rovers, big investment into Crawley Town

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Will Grigg of Sunderland celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Walsall at Stadium of Light on March 16, 2019 in Sunderland, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)
SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Will Grigg of Sunderland celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Walsall at Stadium of Light on March 16, 2019 in Sunderland, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Sunderland manager Jack Ross is hopeful star striker Will Grigg will be fit to line up against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy final on Sunday.

The 27-year-old returned early from international duty with Northern Ireland last week due to an ongoing ankle concern.

The former Wigan Athletic ace is yet to join the rest of the squad in training, however Ross is hopeful he will return in the next couple of days.

You can read the full story via the Sunderland Echo plus all the latest injury news HERE.

Portsmouth winger Louis Dennis is facing a battle to make the matchday squad for this weekend’s trip to Wembley.

Dennis was crowned Checkatrade Trophy Player of the Round following an outstanding 2-0 victory at Southend in January, a fixture in which he also scored.

He was benched the following round against Peterborough United and dropped from the squad for last month’s Bury semi-final.

You can read what boss Kenny Jackett told the Portsmouth News over his likely omission HERE.

Barnsley head coach Daniel Stendel met ex-Arsenal star Paul Merson for dinner on Wednesday afternoon.

The German shared his meeting with Merson via Instagram with the caption: “Went out for dinner with this legend. Had a great time and got a lot of insights.”

It is unknown how the pair have crossed paths.

Meanwhile, Southend United have terminated the contract of assistant manager Damian Matthew following Chris Powell’s sacking.

Blackburn Rovers are expected to re-ignite their interest in Charlton Athletic defender Patrick Bauer this summer.

The Lancashire Telegraph understands the 26-year-old is unlikely to sign a new deal at The Valley, meaning he’ll become a free agent in the summer.

Tony Mowbray and co were keen on the German last summer, though the Addicks refused to sell ahead of their League One promotion push.

It’s well-documented that Mowbray is keen to strengthen his Rovers defence having shipped the fourth highest amount of goals this season in the Championship.

Doncaster Rovers midfielder Ben Whiteman will undergo a “revolutionary” treatment on his ankle injury - manager Grant McCann has revealed.

The midfielder suffered ligament damage during the draw with Barnsley earlier this month, however could return as early as next weekend.

McCann also confirmed Herbie Kane, on loan from Liverpool, will remain in Yorkshire for treatment on his groin, which has ruled him out for six weeks, rather than returning to Merseyside.

You can read McCann’s full injury update on the Doncaster Free Press HERE.

In League Two, former Crawley Town investor Paul John Hayward has offered to put a ‘seven-figure investment’ into the club following a poll on twitter.

Hayward, who invested in the club between 2010 and 2016, believes he can bring fresh ideas and help turn the club around as he did before.

And tweeted today that he spent an hour on the phone with the club discussing a possible investment.

HERE’s what Haywood interestingly told the Crawley Observer.

Northampton Town are hoping to welcome back both Aaron Pierre and Jordan Turnbull for this weekend’s clash with Port Vale.

Both players missed the 3-1 defeat at Cheltenham Town last time out, with Turnbull injured and Pierre away on international duty with Grenada.

The pair’s absence was felt as the Cobblers suffered their first defeat in nine games - but boss Keith Curle is hopeful both will be fit and ready to go against the Valiants.

The Northampton Chronicle and Echo have the full story HERE.