LEE Cattermole looks certain to miss tomorrow’s game against Wigan after suffering an injury in training yesterday.
The skipper had only just returned to first-team action this week – coming on as a second-half substitute in the FA Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.
He had been out since November with a knee injury, but had made such good progress that he had returned weeks earlier than expected.
Yesterday, though, he suffered a fresh knock.
Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill said: “We have a number of injury problems ahead of the Wigan game, and I don’t want to run through them.
“But Lee Cattermole had had a bit of a setback.
“He trained for the game yesterday – we were trying to get a bit more fitness into him and the new lads who have arrived – and he had a bit of a setback.
“We are hoping it’s not as bad as before, but I would say he would be doubtful for tomorrow.”
O’Neill was understandably down after the midweek FA Cup defeat to Bolton.
But today he was in more positive mood and actively looking forward to tomorrow’s trip to Wigan.
He said: “Sometimes I think that moving on from a game quickly, just like that, has never been something in my make-up.
“Even as a player I would be thinking about games some days later.
“It was a chance for us to get through midweek, a chance for us to meet up with Everton in the next round.
“But maybe sometimes I’m too hard because the fact is that in the league we’ve done exceptionally well of late.
“We’ve won four out of our last seven in the league and played well in those games too, so tomorrow is a chance to continue that good form and put the midweek disappointment behind us.”