NICKLAS Bendtner looks almost certain to miss Sunday’s Wear-Tees derby after Sunderland confirmed the striker had suffered a broken nose.
Bendtner lasted just 13 minutes of Saturday’s victory over Swansea City before being replaced by Connor Wickham after sustaining a high boot to the face from defender Angel Rangel.
The on-loan Arsenal man left the field with blood pouring from a cut near his left eye before heavy swelling quickly developed as he underwent initial treatment at the Stadium of Light.
Tests have revealed Bendtner suffered a broken nose in the collision, with further examination of the extent of the injuries expected today.
Dr Glen Rae, the head of Sunderland’s medical department, said: “The results of the scans have been received and Nicklas will now undergo further treatment.”
Even if Bendtner’s facial injuries are limited to a broken nose, the striker has to be a major doubt for this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Middlesbrough.
Players can be out for as little as a fortnight with such an injury and there is the possibility that Bendtner could be fitted for a protective mask in the same fashion as Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
But while the injuries remain fresh, Bendtner is unlikely to be given the go-ahead to feature against Boro and will also be a doubt for Norwich’s visit to Wearside on Wednesday week.
In his absence, Wickham looks set to continue alongside Stephane Sessegnon in attack on Sunday, with the 18-year-old fit-again after recovering from two months of stop-start action with a knee injury.
Wickham has not started for the Black Cats since December, but scored in his one Stadium of Light outing in the starting line-up – October’s 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.