SUNDERLAND will today anxiously await the result of scans on the injured ankle of leading scorer Steven Fletcher.
The six-goal striker was hurt in a first-half challenge in yesterday’s defeat at Norwich and limped off to be replaced by Connor Wickham during the break.
The £12million striker has played every league game since his signing and any absence would be a big blow for the Black Cats, especially given they are already without experienced players like Lee Cattermole and John O’Shea.
Fletcher has six goals in 13 league games for Sunderland and his contribution to his side’s attack is underlined by the fact that the next highest scorer for the club in the Premier League is Craig Gardner and Stephane Sessegnon with two goals each.
Manager Martin O’Neill said: “We don’t know just yet how serious Steven’s ankle injury is.
“He’s going to see the medical people and I imagine early in the week we’ll discover how he is.”
In Fletcher’s absence, Connor Wickham proved to be a surprisingly able deputy in what was the England Under-21 international’s most significant involvement of the campaign.
“It would have been nice to have had Fletcher’s predatory instincts in the box in that second half, but I thought that Connor Wickham played really well in the second half,” said the Sunderland manager.
“He did fine considering he’s been out of the picture for some time and did well.
“He did himself a lot of credit.”