premier league news

Bruce waits on news of Cattermole injury

October 20, 2009

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is keeping his fingers crossed amid fears that midfielder Lee Cattermole could be sidelined for months.

The 21-year-old was due to undergo a scan on the knee he injured during Saturday's 1-0 Premier League victory over Liverpool with the early signs suggesting he suffered ligament damage.

Tests will determine whether or not that is the case and, if it is, whether it is the medial or cruciate ligament that has been affected with the latter representing the more serious scenario.

Cattermole, like striker Kenwyne Jones, left the pitch at the Stadium of Light on a stretcher, while full-back George McCartney had to be replaced at half-time after complaining of feeling unwell.

Jones was taken straight to hospital with a twisted ankle, but has since been discharged, while McCartney should be available again for Saturday's trip to Birmingham.

But Bruce will hope he does not have to do without Cattermole, who has already endured a significant spell in the treatment room since his £6 million summer move from Wigan with a troublesome heel problem, for an extended period.

The former Middlesbrough enforcer has been a big hit on Wearside this season and was missed during his enforced lay-off, and any lengthy absence would come as a huge blow to his team.

Cattermole has formed an impressive central midfield partnership with fellow new arrival Lorik Cana which has been one of the major reasons for their impressive start to the campaign.

The Albania international, who has been appointed captain by Bruce, turned in a fine individual display against Liverpool, particularly in the second half when he was asked to drop in at centre-half following McCartney's premature departure.

He was delighted to collect all three points against the Reds after losing to them three times in the Champions League during his spell at Marseille.

Cana, 26, told the Sunderland Echo: ''I have played against Liverpool in the Champions League and won one and lost the last three. We could have made it more comfortable. We had to defend well, yes, but we missed good chances to score the second goal. It was an incredible game. I enjoyed it a lot.''

However, too often this season, Sunderland have won at home and then failed to follow it up with a performance on the road, and that is a situation Cana and his team-mates are determined to address this weekend.

He said: ''We have played well at home and then lost away games at Stoke and Burnley. But now we have had three or four good performances in a row and that is great for confidence. I think the team can get better and better.''

That said, Bruce will not be the only one keeping his fingers crossed over Cattermole and Jones.

Cana added: ''They are big players for us and I hope they don't miss many games. We need everyone because we don't have 24 or 25 players like the top teams.''