Former Blade Phil Bardsley’s Sunderland exile is over after he apologised for mocking the club’s opening day defeat by Fulham.
The 28-year-old full-back - who was at Sheffield United on loan in the 2007-8 season- was suspended by the Black Cats over a comment posted on a social media site after the 1-0 defeat which read: “Great opening day. Hahahhahaha hahahhaha!”
But Bardsley, currently recovering from a broken foot, has now apologised and his ban has been lifted. He said: “I’d like to apologise to the club and supporters for my comments. I understand how they may have been interpreted and it was a serious error of judgement.
“I accept the punishment that has been handed to me by the club and will now focus my attention and efforts on rehabilitation.”
However, Scotland international Bardsley’s return to the fold does not necessarily mean he will have a place in manager Paolo Di Canio’s plans.
The defender was made to train with the club’s U21s during the summer after being photographed at a casino in May.