Lee Johnson reveals full picture of Sunderland's injury woes with 'seven or eight' to miss Cambridge clash and Aiden McGeady set for 'extended' lay-off
Sunderland have been rocked by the news that Aiden McGeady will be missing for a period of 8-12 weeks with a knee injury.
The winger sustained the injury attempting a shot in the 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury Town earlier this week, and was in visible discomfort during the early stages of the game.
It's one of a number of issues for head coach Lee Johnson, who this morning confirmed that he will be without 'seven or eight' players for the crucial clash with Cambridge United.
Denver Hume, Dennis Cirkin and Niall Huggins had already been sidelined until the new year, and McGeady has become one of a handful of players to join them in the injury room.
Luke O'Nien is also a doubt for Saturday's game, as he is seeing a surgeon today to assess the best way to deal with a persistent shoulder problem.
"It's Aiden's knee," Johnson said.
"He just stubbed the ground before taking a shot at Shrewsbury. It's going to be an extended spell on the sidelines for him which is obviously disappointing because of the quality he brings.
"It's a grade two MCL, which is probably somewhere between eight to 12 weeks.
"We've got challenges.
"We've had challenges over the last four or five weeks.
"We've got an injury list of seven to eight players for this game, so we're going to have to mix a few things up.
"We've got to focus on the ones we have got fit, to get the right solutions and produce the best performances we can.
"It's going to be interesting, and quite exciting I think, to see how we fare."
Johnson had to make three changes to his planned line up for the Shrewsbury game on Tuesday night due to injury issues, and says the latest problems may mean he has to 'try something new' naturally.
"Lynden did well on Tuesday," Johnson said.
"Listen, you're asking boys to do something that's not natural to them.
"You can go back to Carl Winchester as well at the start of the season, and they've done great.
"Corry Evans had calf issues, so couldn't start at Shrewsbury, for example.
"So that leaves you short of midfielders, hence Winchester going into midfield and Gooch dropping to right back.
"We've then got Luke O'Nien at left back, and he's been having real trouble with his shoulder that keeps popping out pretty much every other day.
"He's seeing a surgeon today to see how that is going to play out.
"Luke has been absolute warrior for us. He's battled through, but it starts to affect your daily life. You then have to seriously consider it and we're at that stage now.
"We'll take the advice from the surgeon today, and that will be key in terms of whether he can continue.
"There's a lot of elements that will go into the decision and we'll make the right one for the player and for the club.
"We've got to find solutions and I'm not grumbling, because it could be an opportunity for a young player, and we've got good players.
"We might to have shuffle things around and try something news.”