Paul McShane will be out of action for three months
Sunderland defender Paul McShane will be out for at least three months following knee surgery.
The Republic of Ireland international suffered the latest injury setback shortly after scoring in Sunderland's 4-0 friendly win at Darlington on Thursday night.
The centre-back, who spent most of last season on loan at Hull City, has not travelled to Portugal with Steve Bruce's side and missed last night's 1-0 win over Portimonense.
He stayed behind for scans on his injury and has been told he needs an operation.
Manager Steve Bruce said: 'This news is exactly what we didn't want and now we will be without Paul for a while.'
The injury is also a blow to Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni. McShane has been a virtual ever-present in the Irish World Cup campaign and Trapattoni has little cover in the back four to cope with his absence ahead of crucial qualifiers against Italy, Cyprus and Montenegro.