Cats to contact FA over Bent injuries
Sunderland are to contact the Football Association to see if they can come up with a solution to striker Darren Bent's England injury misery. Three times in the past few months, the 26-year-old has withdrawn from Fabio Capello's squad, the latest for Tuesday night's frustrating 0-0 Euro 2012 qualifier draw with Montenegro, which he was due to start. Bent missed the pre-World Cup finals friendly against Mexico with a hamstring problem and was subsequently left out of the squad for South Africa, and reported for the August clash with Hungary carrying a back strain which ultimately forced him to pull out. The former Tottenham frontman returned to Wearside earlier this week after suffering a groin injury in training and is a doubt for Monday's Premier League trip to Blackburn. However, while club boss Steve Bruce hopes Bent has simply been unfortunate, the Black Cats are planning to discuss the situation with their England counterparts. The 49-year-old said: "It's quite staggering because I don't think he has missed a day's training here, I don't think he has missed a game since he has been here. "Unfortunately, that is now two or three times he has gone with England - whether it is different techniques or what have you, I am not quite sure. "But I know he is hugely disappointed because it could have been his night. They were crying out for a goal, it was crying out for somebody to do something a bit different. "It could have been his night, it could have kick-started him in terms of his England career. "But it's unfortunate, he has picked up a niggly groin injury. "Obviously, we are going to have to speak with the medical people and the doctors with England because it seems to be an occurrence that he has picked up an injury two or three times when away with England. "It is strange, maybe it is totally alien to what he is doing. I haven't really asked that question, but obviously with the medical people we have, we will do over the next couple of weeks." Bent underwent a scan on his return and that has shown some damage, although Bruce has not yet ruled his leading scorer out of the game at Ewood Park. He said: "If it was Saturday, I would say no chance; but Monday, maybe. "But obviously, I am going to err on the side of caution because it is not often he even misses a training session, to be fair to him. "It's showing up that there is something in his groin, so we will see how he is." Bent's fitness problems could open the door for record signing Asamoah Gyan, who is yet to start a league game since his £13million-plus arrival from Rennes, but already has two goals to his name. Bruce said: "Gyan is physically now much, much better than he was four or five weeks ago when he arrived. "To be fair to him, he has put a lot of work in on his own because he needed to - he hadn't done anything since the World Cup. "With the way the team has been playing, we have been able to put some physical work into him and let him get used to his surroundings. "He has still got a couple of goals for us and that's why we brought him here. "If something happens to Darren, then we have got a fantastic replacement." Meanwhile, Irish midfielder David Meyler returned to training this week as he stepped up his recovery from the cruciate ligament injury he suffered in May, although he is still several weeks away from resuming in earnest.
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