Sunderland may play Johnson

Johnson was charged on Thursday after answering bail and is due to appear before County Durham Magistrates Court on May 20.

The 27-year-old was arrested on March 2 and initially suspended but he was later allowed to resume training and has since made three appearances from the bench.

Sunderland said in a brief statement the England international will remain available for selection for manager Dick Advocaat while legal proceedings continue.

The club confirmed: ???Following yesterday???s statement from Durham Constabulary, the club recognises that the formal legal process must take its course and whilst our position remains unchanged, we will keep the matter under review.

???The club will not be making any further comment.???

Sunderland-born Johnson joined the club from Manchester City for ??10m in August 2012 and??scored the winning goal in this season’s Tyne-Wear derby against Newcastle at St James Park.

Advocaat???s side are just a point above the relegation zone in the Premier League and travel to Stoke on Saturday.