Keane rues 'bad news' on Nosworthy injury
Sunderland manager Roy Keane hopes the club's injury problems will have abated by the time the Premier League resumes after the international break but he has resigned himself to losing defender Nyron Nosworthy to a long lay-off.
The 27-year-old former Gillingham player sustained a grade two tear to his hamstring against Newcastle at the weekend and could be out for between four and six weeks.
'It is particularly bad news for us. When he went off, I thought it was fairly serious. He is a tough lad - it takes a lot for him to come off,' said Keane.
'We don't do things by halves at our club. The only silver lining is that we have a two-week break now with no games, but it's not much of a silver lining because if it does take six weeks he's going to miss some very important games for us.'
Sunderland will return to league action at Everton on November 24 and by then Keane hopes to have fewer injury concerns to worry about.
Winger Carlos Edwards made his first appearance for nearly three months in the Tyne-Wear derby after a hamstring injury but in the game he picked up a knock to the same shoulder he damaged last season, while Andy Cole is still recovering from a calf injury.
Michael Chopra is carrying a hip injury and Ian Harte sustained a similar problem against the Magpies.
That has ruled him out of the Republic of Ireland's final Euro 2008 qualifier against Wales at the weekend, while Paul McShane is a doubt for that match after picking up a calf injury with the international squad.
Keane told the Sunderland Echo: 'I've been told though that it's not too serious and he won't have to come home. It's quite a long list, but Nyron apart, there is no reason why they all won't be back and available for selection again by the time of the Everton game in 10 days' time.'
However, on the plus side Dean Whitehead is expected to make his return from knee ligament damage in Andy Lawrie's testimonial at Falkirk tomorrow having been included in a 16-man squad alongside the fit-again Stanislav Varga and first-team regulars Kenwyne Jones, Danny Collins and Ross Wallace, as well as experienced midfielder Graham Kavanagh.
With the fuss over Joey Barton's tackle on Black Cats midfielder Dickson Etuhu in the derby starting to die down Keane expressed his desire not to see the significance of the physical side of the game lessened.
'I am not one for jumping up and down on the sidelines when I see a tackle,' he told the club's website.
'It was high, but he was going to win the ball. The incident has been exaggerated. It is not as though Dickson needed treatment, he was not carried off. He is fine.
'The lad Barton has apologised and as far as I am concerned, it is over with, we move on.
'Maybe everyone made a big issue of it because it was Barton but we seem to be losing that side of it.
'You have to tackle. The ball is there to be won, it is an important part of the game.'