Midfield crisis for Cats boss Bruce

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is facing yet another injury crisis with four midfielders doubtful for Tuesday's Premier League clash with Bolton.

Last Updated: 08/03/10 at 12:00

Cattermole: Struggling with a hamstring-related problem

Cattermole: Struggling with a hamstring-related problem

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Kieran Richardson, who has started the last two games after recovering from a calf injury, has damaged his other calf muscle, while Lee Cattermole is struggling with a hamstring-related problem.

Andy Reid (hamstring) and Jordan Henderson (ankle) are close to returning from lengthy lay-offs, but the game could come too soon for them, while David Meyler completes his three-match ban.

However, Steed Malbranque will be involved after returning to the squad following a breach of club discipline.

The 30-year-old Frenchman did not even make the bench for last weekend's 0-0 draw with Fulham amid reports he had broken a curfew ahead of the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Bruce has confirmed Malbranque was punished for a misdemeanour, but was not elaborating as he confirmed the player will be involved on Tuesday.

Bruce said: "Whatever has happened, Steed knows what's happened and with that, he has been punished and he has taken his punishment.

"As far as I am concerned, the matter is closed. It will remain confidential, like anything that happens in the football club.

"Unfortunately with media, it always seems to get out, but the matter has been dealt with. He is in the squad and he will play some part."

Cats (from): Gordon, Fulop, Bardsley, Hutton, Turner, Ferdinand, Mensah, Kilgallon, Da Silva, Cattermole, Cana, Zenden, Richardson, Malbranque, Reid, Henderson, Campbell, Bent, Jones, Benjani, Liddle, Noble.

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