SUNDERLAND TEN YEARS AGO: Kavanagh blow, Keane’s Yorke compromise

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This is what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago.

KAV OUT FOR SIX WEEKS

Graham Kavanagh had a knee operation today, keeping the Sunderland midfielder out of action for up to six weeks. A scan on his knee has revealed a cartilage tear and the Black Cats have decided to have it repaired immediately.

Boss Roy Keane revealed that Kavanagh brought the injury with him when he joined from Wigan on transfer deadline day last month, but it has now worsened.

The 32-year old is also out of the Republic of Ireland’s games against Cyprus and the Czech Republic next month.

Keane said: “Graham is obviously disappointed. He has had a problem since pre-season and it has got worse in the last couple of months.

“He struggled with the injury in the second-half at Ipswich last weekend but battled on and was in quite a bit of pain when he came off the pitch.

“I spoke to him afterwards and he had a scan. I told him that if he was not right he should get the operation done. It is a blow to him and us, but I would rather have a fit, strong Graham Kavanagh with us in a few weeks than have him struggle on with something that could affect him for months.”

Keane has had a lot of injuries during his time in charge. He said: “We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves. Most clubs have a period like this when they have a lot of injuries. It gives an opportunity to other players and hopefully they take it.”

Sunderland have been particularly depleted in attack. Dave Connolly (thigh) will not be fit for Saturday’s home encounter with Sheffield Wednesday, but Daryl Murphy (hamstring) and Jon Stead (thigh) have started running.

Keane said: “I’ll see how they are in the next couple of days, but will not take any risks if they’re not 100 per cent right.

It means Sunderland are likely to start on Saturday with the same forward pairing as last weekend, when Dwight Yorke was alongisde Chris Brown.

ALL DWIGHT NOW!

Sunderland striker Dwight Yorke will link up with Trinidad and Tobago next month to sit out one of his country’s friendly games.

Yorke had a discussion with Black Cats manager Roy Keane this week after the Irishman questioned the wisdom of his 34-year-old striker going away for the best part of two weeks.

It ended with an agreement that Yorke would travel for the October 7 game against Nicaragua but come back to England and not be involved in the friendly with Panama four days later.

Keane said today: I spoke to Dwight on Tuesday. Clearly, he won’t be involved in the next World Cup and he has come here and made a commitment for the next two years.

Trinidad & Tobago see Dwight as the main man – an ambassador for his country – and I would never begrudge anyone playing for their country.

“After that conversation, we have agreed he will go over for the first game and come back here on the Sunday or the Monday.

“It is a compromise that is fair to his country, to Dwight and to Sunderland.

“Dwight is not getting any younger and these internationals are just friendlies.

“We have tried to be fair to everyone.”

Yorke has previously admitted that he needs to improve his fitness after arriving from Australian A-League champions Sydney and playing two international friendlies ahead of three games in eight days for Sunderland would have been a tough task for any player, let alone the veteran.