Sunderland are sweating on the results of a scan to Duncan Watmore’s knee injury after the forward was carried off in Saturday’s win over Leicester.
The England Under-21 international looks set for a lengthy absence, though, after David Moyes admitted the initial prognosis on the injury “doesn’t look great”.
Watmore, who was enjoying one of his best games of the season, was carried off in the 83rd minute following a challenge by Foxes’ defender Christian Fuchs.
Steven Pienaar, feeling the after affects of a heavy collision with Marc Albrighton, and Jason Denayer, who felt unwell, were both substituted at the break but are not serious injuries.
Moyes said: “The team is getting better but, unfortunately, we’ve picked up another injury with Duncan. It doesn’t look great.
“Duncan has been playing well.
“I’d love to say the two changes I made at half-time were tactical genius, but they were both enforced – Steven’s eye closed over and he had blurred vision and Jason felt ill.”
Watmore’s injury follows long-term injuries to Paddy McNair and Lynden Gooch.
There was slightly better news on Gooch, who travelled to London on Friday to consult a specialist over his ankle injury, after it was confirmed he doesn’t need an operation.
Gooch is still expected to be out for up to three months.
Moyes said: “The good news is that he doesn’t need an operation. That’s the big news, his ankle will heal in time.
“But it’s still going to be an injury that keeps him out somewhere between 8-12 weeks.”
Fit-again Jan Kirchhoff, who came on at half-time, says the recent bout of injuries suffered by Sunderland is simply down to bad luck.
Kirchhoff said: “It has nothing to do with bad build-up or lack of fitness or so on. It is just down to bad luck.
“You can’t do anything about that.
“It is just so unlucky that Duncan falls on his leg and he has injured his knee.
“Something like that just happens in sport and, in football, you can’t avoid it.
“What we can avoid is muscle injuries and so on, it is up to us to work on our fitness for football and get enough sleep etc.
“But injuries to ankles and knees you can’t avoid. It is bad luck.”