Sunderland boss confirms significant Denver Hume setback to leave full back options sparse
Lee Johnson has seen his options at full back reduced again after confirmation that Denver Hume has suffered a serious ankle injury.
The left back was making encouraging progress in his comeback from hamstring surgery but suffered an impact injury in the penalty shootout win at QPR on Tuesday night.
Scans have confirmed that he could be out for up to two months, which means that like Niall Huggins he is unlikely to play a significant part until the turn of year.
It leaves Dennis Cirkin as the club's only fit senior full back, though Carl Winchester has thrived on the right so far this season.
Johnson has players who can play there, including Luke O'Nien and Frederik Alves, but it is an area where the squad is clearly vulnerable moving into an hectic schedule.
The Sunderland head coach revealed the news while discussing his side's poor defensive display in the 5-1 defeat to Rotherham.
"We have got a relatively youthful back four," he said.
"We didn't recruit a right back and Winny has been absolutely fantastic for us. We've been unlucky with a couple of injuries, obviously.
"Niall Huggins had a serious injury and it now looks as if Denver Hume will be out for six to eight weeks.
"He hasn't been available much for us this season.
"We have got tactical flexlibilty and players who can play there, but sometimes that can fall away from the football that you're trying to play."
A second half red card also means that Sunderland will be without Aiden McGeady for the trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night.