JOHN O’SHEA is a major doubt to face Chelsea on Wednesday night after limping through the closing stages of Saturday’s stalemate at Aston Villa.
Skipper O’Shea suffered a groin strain in the final 10 minutes at Villa Park after Sunderland had already used all of their three substitutes.
Head coach Gus Poyet feared that the Black Cats would be forced to complete the game with 10 men and made hasty plans to reorganise his defence.
But after treatment, O’Shea saw the game through until the final whistle, although he was in obvious discomfort.
Poyet was coy on the severity of O’Shea’s injury, although the 32-year-old is a serious concern for Wednesday’s visit of Chelsea to the Stadium of Light.
“It was a worry at the end,” said Poyet.
“One second they said to me he was out and we were trying to switch things around.
“The next second, he managed to stay on the pitch limping, which was great for us.
“Credit to him and let’s hope it’s nothing serious.”
Valentin Roberge will almost certainly take O’Shea’s place in the starting XI if the Republic of Ireland international fails to recover.