CONNOR Wickham’s knee injury is likely to be nowhere near as serious as first feared.
The full results of scans carried out yesterday are expected to be released today.
But the early signs are that the damage the England Under 21 international (right) sustained in Saturday’s game against Manchester United should not sideline him for any real length of time.
The teenager went down in only the second minute of the game at Old Trafford as he adjusted his balance hoping to charge down a Rio Ferdinand clearance.
He planted his boots awkwardly in the turf, put his body weight on his knee as he slipped and needed to be stretchered from the field, clearly in some distress.
That prompted fears that it could be medial ligament damage, cruciate ligament damage, or even both and a grim Steve Bruce said in post-match Press conference: “It looks as though he’s got a serious knee injury.
“If that proves to be the case then that’s seven bad knee injuries for us in a year – it’s unbelievable.”
Sunderland were however unable to establish at the weekend the full extent of the injury, because of the immediate swelling around the knee.
Wickham was able to walk away from Old Trafford but that in itself need not necessarily have been significant – Michael Turner walked from the Stadium of Light after injuring his knee colliding with a goal post last month, only to discover days later that he would be sidelined for months.
Wickham though looks as though he has escaped that fate.
The striker revealed on the Twitter social networking site: “Scans showed injury not as bad as first thought, waiting to see a knee specialist later in the week.”
If the damage is minor, then the fortnight’s international break comes at the perfect time and it’s possible he could even be available for the Fulham game.
It’s more likely that he will miss a game or two, but even that would be a much better prospect than the initial fears that he could be out for the rest of the year and potentially for the rest of the season.