Sunderland manager Steve Bruce will have a selection headache for Portmouth's visit to the Stadium of Light on Saturday after it was confirmed that defender Anton Ferdinand could be out for at least a month.
The 24-year-old limped off in Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Fulham after a clumsy challenge by striker Erik Nevland, who was booked for his troubles.
"It's a nasty one for Anton," Bruce told the Sunderland Echo. Nevland's body weight came down on the ankle when they went to ground and he's no chance of being ready for the weekend.
"He's got no chance for Saturday and it looks like it could be a month at least for him. It's disappointing for him and disappointing for me.''
Ferdinand's misfortune ahead of Saturday's home clash with Portsmouth comes with George McCartney struggling with a hamstring problem, John Mensah out with a calf injury and Kieran Richardson and Phil Bardsley both suspended.
Meanwhile, Nyron Nosworthy, who replaced the injured Ferdinand at Craven Cottage should make his fifth start of the season, despite having stitches in a head wound after the defeat.