SUNDERLAND will have to wait until next week to discover the severity of Steven Fletcher’s injury.
Fletcher has been ruled out of this Saturday’s crunch relegation showdown at Norwich City after suffering an ankle problem in last weekend’s stalemate with Crystal Palace.
The Scotland international has not suffered any broken bones, but his ligaments have been damaged.
But initial scans on the ankle have proved inconclusive and Sunderland’s medical team need to wait until the swelling goes down further before they will know how long Fletcher will be sidelined, although boss Gus Poyet expects the 26-year-old to be back before the end of the campaign.
Poyet said today: “We’re still assessing him.
“Next week, we’re going to have a final decision on him.
“He’s not fit for this weekend.
“It was quite swollen, so it was difficult to do all the tests.
“It wasn’t very clear. We’re trying to stay calm and see what happens.”
When asked whether he would miss the remainder of the season, Poyet replied: “I hope not.
“But it depends on how badly the twist is.
“He twisted his ankle and there was a fear that there was some bone issues. There aren’t, that’s for sure.
“But there is some ligament damage. We’ll see next week.”
It has been a miserable campaign for Fletcher who has netted just three goals and been plagued by ankle, shoulder and Achilles injuries.
“I hope he finishes the season well, keeps himself fit and starts next season right,” added Poyet.
“It’s been difficult for him. When I got here, he had the shoulder problem, then had a recovery and played a few games in pain.
“But it’s probably a season to forget for him, because it’s been quite difficult.”