Sunderland's Kieran Richardson and Michael Turner injured

07 May 2011 02:59
ShareIf Steve Bruce thought Sunderland's injury crisis had peaked, he discovered he was very much mistaken this week.

Fresh scans have shown that Kieran Richardson has a stress fracture, three weeks after he suffered his original injury. Michael Turner is out for the season after he collided in training with John Mensah, who will take his place at Bolton.

Captain Lee Cattermole, who suffered a recurrence of a back injury in last week's defeat to Fulham, has also played his last game this season.

Blow: Kieran Richardson (centre) suffered a stress fracture

It means Bruce has 10 first team players missing for the remaining games of the season. He has added five youngsters to his squad, just enough to manage a six-a-side game in training on Friday.

At the Reebok Stadium, Sunderland will start with Egyptian midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady upfront for the first time in his career. He has played at right-back for the last month and has yet to score a Premier League goal in 33 games.

Bruce has denied accusations that he is to blame for Sunderland's injury problems by rushing players back, and will press for a full review of the club's medical department and training before next season.

Sidelined: Lee Cattermole won't play again this season

He said: 'I would not put anybody on to a football pitch who I didn't think was fit enough.

'Titus is the only one who came back early but he put himself forwardand said he wanted to play because of the problems we had at the time. Meyler played two games in two days, maybe that one.

'The likes of Gordon, Turner, Meyler, Richardson, Welbeck and Campbell, they are all traumas and breakdowns. It has been pretty horrific. I have never known anything like it and my physio Dave Galley has not witnessedanything like it in 20-odd years in the game.

'Some will say 'off with manager's head and what is he doing in training?' It doesn't surprise me. One week I am best thing since sliced toast, now I am incompetent.

'But I don't think any club could cope. We have been ravaged. And it is the most frustrating season I've had because we were so close.

'I know I am on the right lines. I know we wereclose and I know what has derailed us. I know we would have a chance oftop ten without these problems and even with them we still have a chance.'

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Source: Daily_Mail