Sunderland boss confirms double injury blow and explains Jack Clarke issue in Birmingham City defeat

Sunderland have suffered two injury setbacks - but are hopeful that their talisman will be fit for next week's crucial game
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Michael Beale has confirmed that Sunderland will be without Patrick Roberts for at least a month, while Elliot Embleton has been sidelined for a similar time.

Roberts suffered a hamstring injury during the 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town in midweek and scans have confirmed the club's fear that he had suffered a similar injury to the one that kept him out of action for a month earlier in the campaign.

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Embleton, meanwhile, has suffered yet more rotten injury luck. The attacking midfielder had been due to make his comeback in an U21 game just over a week ago, but the game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and he suffered an ankle injury in a training session the next day. Scans have shown that the problem is slightly worse than initially feared.

"Yeah, it'll be four or five weeks for Patrick," Beale said.

"We won't see Paddy or Elliot for a while. The scan for Embo showed something which we didn't expect to see so he's going to be out for probably a similar time. It's disappointing for both of them."

Beale did say that he does not think Jack Clarke has a significant issue despite the winger clearly being in discomfort throughout the 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City. Clarke scored the first goal in the game but had hurt his foot minutes earlier, already carrying a minor knock from the Huddersfield contest in midweek.

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The head coach says the winger, who now has fifteen goals for the campaign, is OK.

"He was fine, he had a little strapping on it," Beale said.

"He took a knock early in the game on Wednesday when we broke and the lad run across him. We didn't get anything for it but he got a knock and then caught it again when he scored the goal, just felt it a little bit at half-time.

"We asked him at half-time, we asked him when we were making the subs in the second-half, he said he was fine but I don't think there's much of an issue there."

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