SUNDERLAND’S search for a new goalkeeper may not be quite so pressing, with Keiren Westwood’s injury not as severe as first thought.
Black Cats boss Gus Poyet is on the look-out for a stopper during the January transfer window to provide cover for first-choice Vito Mannone.
Republic of Ireland keeper David Forde, Westwood’s rival at international level, is one possible replacement, with the 34-year-old in the final six months of his contract at Championship Millwall.
Westwood, who is also out of contract in the summer, was expected to be out for the rest of the season with the shoulder injury which has sidelined him since November.
But Poyet today revealed that the diagnosis on Westwood is better than expected after the 29-year-old underwent an operation.
Poyet said: “He has had the operation. Everything went all right, he is fine, so he starts his recovery next week.
“It’s difficult to put a time on it because in the end, it was better than we thought.
“Initially when they went in and they checked, it was not as bad as they thought, so it probably be shorter, but it’s difficult to say a time.”
The only other player on Sunderland’s treatment table is Carlos Cuellar, who has missed the last two months with a hip injury.
But Poyet expects the Spanish centre-half to resume training within the next 10 days.