Nicklas Bendtner confident injury won’t keep him out of action

Nicklas Bendtner.

Nicklas Bendtner.

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NICKLAS Bendtner will be assessed by Sunderland’s medical staff today, although the on-loan striker is not thought to have suffered a serious injury on international duty.

Bendtner was substituted after playing an hour for Denmark in Wednesday night’s 2-0 defeat to Russia, with the Black Cats hitman hampered by an ankle problem.

The 24-year-old revealed he had been suffering from the injury in training and removed himself from the fray as a precaution.

But Bendtner is not expected to need a scan on his ankle and Sunderland will hope the on-loan Arsenal frontman is available for Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby.

Bendtner said: “I got a bang to the leg and I had already been suffering from a little problem with it in training.

“When I got hit in the same place, I saw no reason to take a chance with it.”

Bendtner at least got some more match practice under his belt after playing his first 45 minutes in a month in last weekend’s defeat at West Brom.

A broken nose, coupled with his ineligibility to play against parent club Arsenal in either the Premier League or FA Cup, had seen the targetman, now sporting a protective mask, sidelined.

Sunderland’s main injury concern for the weekend continues to revolve around Phil Bardsley after the full-back was forced to withdraw from the Scotland squad in midweek due to a calf problem.

If Bardsley fails to recover, O’Neill has the option of moving Craig Gardner into defence or switching John O’Shea to right-back.