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Cattermole return unlikely

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill admits he is not counting on having captain Lee Cattermole available again this season.

Last Updated: 20/03/13 at 14:17 Post Comment

Lee Cattermole: Has endured an injury-plagued campaign

Lee Cattermole: Has endured an injury-plagued campaign

Cattermole has managed just ten Premier League games so far this season, thanks to injuries to both knees.

With eight games of the season left, Sunderland are just four points off the drop zone and had hoped Cattermole could make a return sooner rather than later.

But O'Neill admits he may have to do without his influential skipper and told the Sunderland Echo: "Lee has a few more days to go after having had the injection.

"The specialist told him not to do a great deal and while he is obviously working with the physiotherapist, he is not doing anything that will risk damaging his knee.

"We hope for the best but, to me, if he comes back this season, then that would be a bonus - and an unexpected bonus.

"We may have to cope without him and even if he does successfully come back from the injury, he will still be nowhere near match fit."

O'Neill admits they have struggled in Cattermole's absence, adding: "We have had to do without him pretty much all season. He has definitely been a loss to us, no question about that.

"We have missed that drive, the things that he would give us, but we have had to make do without it.

"We've had different combinations in midfield, we've had to play midfield players at full-back - all those type of things which eventually get lost in the mix.

"It has been a tough old season. It has been tough since the very first day down at the Emirates Stadium and that's just the way it has been.

"But I think because we've been uncomfortably placed, the players are used to that, and should be able to rise to the occasion in these key games ahead."

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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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