Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has been dealt a double blow by the news that he will be without central defenders Titus Bramble and Michael Turner until the new year.
Bramble was due to undergo surgery to repair a damaged knee cartilage on Thursday, but Bruce's dismay increased when it emerged that Turner damaged knee ligaments when he collided with a post during Monday night's 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw with Everton and could be sidelined for months.
The manager told the club's official website: "It's horrible news. Michael whacked his knee against the post on Monday and damaged knee ligaments.
"He will see a specialist today (Thursday). I believe it could be months rather than weeks, and that's a big blow to us."