Sunderland v Middlesbrough: Kirchhoff, Jones, Kone ruled out, Borini a doubt

Fabio Borini is a doubt for the Middlesbrough game
Fabio Borini is a doubt for the Middlesbrough game
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Sunderland's injury problems are mounting up with Jan Kirchhoff, Billy Jones and Lamine Kone all ruled out of the Middlesbrough game - with Fabio Borini a doubt.

Everton-target Kone has a back injury, while Kirchhoff and Jones haven't recovered enough from hamstring and hip injuries, respectively.

Borini, meanwhile, has a toe injury, and his fitness levels will be tested ahead of Sunday's Wear-Tees derby at the Stadium of Light.

Lee Cattermole has also been ruled out for between four to six weeks after undergoing a double hernia operation, leaving Moyes with a threadbare squad heading into the second game of the Premier League season.

John O'Shea is set to start the game in central defence alongside new £8million centre-back Papy Djilobodji, with 21-year-old Paddy McNair in line for his first start, with Donald Love keeping his place at right-back.

Moyes said: "Jan had an injection to see if they could cure a bit of neuro pain leading into his hamstring.

"Lee Cattermole has had a double hernia and as you know Seb Larsson has had an operation that will keep him out for up to six months.

"We have a few injuries, Billy Jones' hip problem, so it has just kept us a little bit low.

"We have a doubt over Borini with a toe injury.

"So, that is why we put young players in last week and they didn't let us down.

"If we have to do it again then we will."

Kirchhoff has been out with a hamstring injury since the Montpellier pre-season friendly in France and Moyes couldn't put a date on his return.

Moyes told the Echo: "I'm not sure on his hamstring, I'm a bit more worried about getting his fitness levels back up.

"He picked up a hamstring injury and has been out for three weeks now.

"To be fair if you get a Grade One hamstring I have always thought it is about three to four weeks.

"He is on the mend but we need to get him match fit."