Paddy McNair is on the long road to recovery after a successful operation on his season-ending knee injury.
The 21-year-old ruptured his cruciate ligament in the recent 3-0 win against Hull City.
McNair had to wait to undergo the surgeon’s knife because he had a cut on his knee and couldn’t be operated on while there was an open wound.
The former Manchester United midfielder has now had his operation and has thanked supporters for their backing. McNair took to social media to post a picture of himself in his hospital bed.
The Northern Ireland international wrote: “Successful op so now the road to recovery begins! Thank you all for the support and messages, I will be back.”
Sunderland have been struck down with a series of long-term injuries, with Duncan Watmore also out for the season with a cruciate ligament injury.
Lee Cattermole is out for up to four months with a hip injury, while Lynden Gooch is out for between eight to 12 weeks with ankle ligament damage.
* Sunderland have sold out their away allocation for the New Year’s Eve game at Burnley.
The Black Cats will also be backed by a sell-out support against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Tickets remain on sale for the Boxing Day trip to Manchester United.
Priced at £30 for adults, £22.50 for under 21s, £15 for over 65s and under 18s, and £10 for under 16s, tickets are on sale for season card holders until Friday 9 December at 4.30pm. Any general sale will commence Monday, December 12 at 9am.