Wednesday 27 March 2013
Sunderland have been hit by the news that striker Steven Fletcher and skipper Lee Cattermole have both been ruled out for the season.
Fletcher suffered ankle ligament damage while playing for Scotland in the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying tie with Wales on Friday night.
It is not yet known whether the 26-year-old will require surgery and the club will assess the problem over the coming weeks.
Fletcher, who joined Sunderland from Wolverhampton Wanderers last summer, is the club's top scorer this season with 11 goals.
Midfielder Cattermole has been struggling with a knee ligament injury since November and has only featured for Sunderland twice this year.
The 25-year-old had an operation on his knee on Wednesday.
"Both players will play no further part in the Black Cats 2012-13 Barclays Premier League season," read a Sunderland statement.
The injuries are a blow for the Black Cats, who are currently lying 15th in the League table, four points from the relegation zone with eight matches to go.
Their next match is at home to League leaders Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime.