CONNOR Wickham has a scan on his injured knee today as medics assess the extent of the damage done at Old Trafford.
The 18-year-old twisted awkwardly as he tried to close down Rio Ferdinand in only the second minute of Saturday’s game and was stretchered off.
Afterwards, manager Steve Bruce speculated that the damage could be to Wickham’s knee ligaments – an injury which could sideline the teenager for the rest of the year, or even season.
Steve Bruce confessed that he couldn’t believe his continuing bad luck with injuries when he saw Connor Wickham go to ground in only the second minute of Saturday’s game against Manchester United, writes GRAEME ANDERSON.
The 18-year-old was stretchered from the field with suspected cruciate ligament damage – a provisional diagnosis which, if confirmed, will certainly rule him out for the rest of the year and potentially for the remainder of the season.
“The defeat to United was disappointing in its own way, but I have to say the really big disappointment of the day was the knock to Connor,” said the Sunderland boss.
“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.
Bruce was quite correct in his calculations.
In the last couple of years, Sunderland have seen David Meyler, Fraizer Campbell (twice), Michael Turner, Titus Bramble, Craig Gordon and now Wickham go down with season-threatening knee injuries.
“We’ll hope it’s not that bad, for Connor,” said Bruce.
“But we’ll have to wait and see.”
Should Wickham’s injury sideline him for any length of time, Bruce’s options up front will be wafer-thin going forward.
The manager has only two fit strikers available to him with Wickham out – on-loan Arsenal man Nicklas Bendtner and Premier League novice Ji Dong-won, who is yet to start a league game.
Sunderland could draft in Stephane Sessegnon and Kieran Richardson as emergency strikers, but the situation is far from ideal.
And that being the case, the January transfer window looks as though it can’t come soon enough for Sunderland – Asamoah Gyan’s August defection looking more badly timed than ever and owner Ellis Short facing a challenge to his cheque book in the new year.