Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson will miss the club's final three matches with a stress fracture in his left leg.
Scans revealed damage to Richardson's left fibula and it is a further blow for manager Steve Bruce, who was already struggling to put a team together for Saturday's trip to Bolton, is, however hopeful that Richardson will be able to return for pre-season training.
Bruce said: ''Unfortunately, we have got to report that Kieran has a stress fracture in his left fibula. We X-rayed him after the game against West Brom and then subsequently scanned him two or three days later. The scans and the X-rays revealed nothing at all apart from a badly bruised bone.
''Unfortunately, what the medical people are telling me is that they [stress fractures] can appear within 10 days to three weeks. Consequently, we re-scanned him on Thursday when we detected that unfortunately, the boy has got a stress fracture and will miss the rest of the season.
''But we hope he is going to be joining in pre-season.''