SUNDERLAND will seek permission to bring in an emergency goalkeeper this week after the sickening injury Simon Mignolet sustained on Saturday.
The Belgian keeper suffered a badly-broken nose in the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa after a clumsy challenge from Emile Heskey. He headed off down the tunnel for treatment before having an operation to repair the damage.
Black Cats boss Steve Bruce said: “It’s a bad one, not just a simple break.
“We don’t quite know how bad it is just yet but I certainly would imagine him to be unavailable for the Manchester United game at least.”
Without Mignolet, Sunderland’s goalkeeping resources are stretched to the limit.
Keiren Westwood was an able deputy for Mignolet on Saturday and will be between the sticks at Old Trafford this weekend. But with Mignolet unavailable and Craig Gordon also still sidelined with a knee injury that has proven more troublesome than expected, Sunderland are without a keeper with any league experience to call on.
Former Northern Ireland U21 goalkeeper Trevor Carson is on loan at Bury but is struggling with a back injury picked up in the warm-up to Saturday’s game at home to Stevenage. Carson had to drop out of the team and was named as a substitute.
It means that Bruce’s options for a keeper to be on the bench at Old Trafford would be between youth goalkeepers, who have been nowhere near the first team.
And in those circumstances, it is expected Sunderland will be allowed to enter the transfer market for an emergency loan signing. Bruce confirmed: “We may have to look for special dispensation and maybe get a loan.”
The Premier League allows clubs to sign a keeper on loan in cases of genuine emergency and Sunderland’s situation clearly falls into that category.
The Black Cats have experience of the system themselves, having loaned Marton Fulop to Manchester City in similar circumstances at the end of the 2009/10 campaign.