Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford ruled out for up to two months

Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford
Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford
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Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been ruled out for up to two months with a knee injury.

David Moyes confirmed Pickford has strained his knee and faces between six to eight weeks out at his pre-match press conference.

Pickford's absence is a major blow given his impact since getting his chance at the end of August but Sunderland are fortunate to have a strong group of goalkeepers, with Vito Mannone having started the season as number one.

Moyes, speaking in his pre-match press conference, said: "Jordan has good news and bad news. The good news is he hasn't ruptured his ACL, the bad news is he's strained it.

"We're looking at 6-8 weeks, it's a major disappointment for him and for us because he's been saving us points.

"Vito is fine and he's been training for many weeks since his injury. He has a lot of experience."

Mannone, 28, has been chomping at the bit to make his first team return since recovering from the elbow injury that ruled him out for two months.

Mannone was in goal for the 2-1 Premier League defeats to Manchester City and Middlesbrough before going under the surgeon’s knife after rupturing elbow ligaments in training.

Since returning to full fitness, 6ft 2in Mannone has had to make do with a place on the bench in recent months given Pickford’s superb form.

Washington-born Pickford has been one of the star performers, alongside eight-goal top scorer Jermain Defoe.

His form has resulted in widespread interest, with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal all keeping tabs on Pickford who was called into the main England squad in November by Gareth Southgate.

Summer signing Mika will deputise on the bench during Pickford’s absence from the first team with manager David Moyes’ hands tied regarding recruitment in January after chief executive Martin Bain confirmed earlier this month that transfer business next month will be very limited.