SUNDERLAND defender Titus Bramble has been told he is unlikely to play again this season.
However, the 29-year-old has revealed he does not need an operation to repair the knee cartilage damage which has sidelined him for the last two games.
Manager Steve Bruce revealed yesterday that he was unlikely to have Bramble at his disposal over the final six games of the Premier League campaign, and the player himself confirmed that via his Twitter account this afternoon.
He said: “Just been told that I’m unlikely to play again this season. I don’t need an operation, so that’s a bonus.
“Will work hard and make sure I’m right for the start of next season.”
Bruce, though, is bracing himself for further bad news with striker Fraizer Campbell and goalkeeper Craig Gordon both due to learn if they need surgery to repair knee injuries.
If that proves to be the case for Campbell, who has missed all but four games of the current campaign with cruciate ligament damage, he will also sit out the bulk of next season.
Bruce said: “The specialist is going to go and have a look inside, but we do fear it may require further surgery, and if that is the case, then he will miss the best part of next season as well.”
Campbell’s impending return persuaded Bruce he did not need to dip into the market to buy a striker in the wake of Darren Bent’s departure for Aston Villa in January.
However, the 23-year-old’s latest misfortune, coupled with serious injuries to the likes of Bramble, Michael Turner and David Meyler and the inadequacies their absences have exposed, has prompted the realisation that significant further reinforcement will be required during the summer.
Bruce said: “Six months ago, I was talking about maybe adding one or two players to the squad.
“Now all of a sudden when I analyse what we have got, there’s a major rebuilding job to be done again. For example, if Fraizer does need surgery, I have got one striker at the club now.
“At the start of the season six or seven months ago, I had four. Sunderland have never had a strike-force like Bent, Gyan, Welbeck and Fraizer Campbell.
“I don’t think there has been anything better than that – maybe Quinn and Phillips, but they didn’t have much back-up.”