Sunderland have been dealt a major injury blow, with Adam Johnson facing a minimum two-month lay-off.
Despite his legal troubles, Johnson was one of the brightest performers for Sunderland during their pre-season programme and provided the assist for Jermain Defoe’s goal in last weekend’s dismal defeat at Leicester.
But the £10million winger suffered a dislocated shoulder during the game at Leicester and will now be out of action for at least eight weeks, with a scan tonight confirming the extent of the damage.
“He will go to the hospital for a scan and tonight we’ll know what is exactly wrong,” head coach Dick Advocaat told the club website.
“It could be a very serious injury - eight weeks or even worse.”
The loss of Johnson will only increase the need for Sunderland to bring in fresh faces this month.
Advocaat had already been eager to add to his attacking options, with Sunderland at the front of the queue to take Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj on loan.
It could also force Advocaat to adopt an orthodox 4-4-2 for this weekend’s visit of Norwich City - the formation in which Sunderland finished the game against Leicester last Saturday.