DANNY ROSE has returned to parent club Tottenham for treatment on the hamstring injury which has ruled him out of Sunderland’s trip to West Brom tomorrow.
And the England Under-21 international is unlikely to be the only notable Sunderland absentee at The Hawthorns, with skipper Lee Cattermole a major doubt to face Albion.
On-loan Rose re-injured his hamstring against Arsenal a fortnight ago and although the strain is not as serious as the one which saw him miss a month of Premier League action at the start of 2013, the 22-year-old still faces another couple of weeks on the sidelines.
Spurs have been keen to assess Rose’s problem and he will remain at the club’s Enfield training base before returning to Wearside next week.
Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill told the Echo: “Danny’s likely to be a few more weeks.
“I think it’s less severe than the previous hamstring problem.
“But, because he’s on loan, Tottenham Hotspur get involved as well and they want to assess him.
“That’s quite right, he’s their player and they like to see what’s happening. He’ll come back to us on Monday.
“It’s one of the drawbacks to having loan players. The parent club feel as if they have got a call for him.
“I can’t disagree with that. Let’s say anything happens to Connor Wickham (on-loan at Sheffield Wednesday), we’d want to assess him ourselves.”
Cattermole is also expected to miss tomorrow’s encounter, as he continues to suffer pain in his knee.
The midfielder was a surprise inclusion in the starting line-up against the Gunners after playing just 15 minutes of first-team football during the previous two months, due to ligament damage sustained in November’s stalemate with QPR.
But Cattermole was in discomfort before being replaced at half-time, and O’Neill admits the 24-year-old is struggling to face the ninth-placed Baggies.
“Lee’s still feeling his knee problem. It might be difficult for him,” said O’Neill.
One player who has put his injury worries behind him is Carlos Cuellar after the Spaniard returned to the bench against Arsenal.
Like Rose, Cuellar limped off in the FA Cup third round clash at Bolton last month, but O’Neill insists the former Aston Villa centre-half is ready for the final 12 games of the season.
O’Neill added: “Carlos is properly fit now and that’s fine.
“He’s ready to go.”