Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand has been ruled out of the busy festive period with an ankle ligament injury.
Ferdinand limped out of Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Fulham following a heavy tackle from Erik Nevland and manager Steve Bruce has revealed that his already limited defensive options have now been further reduced.
“It’s a nasty one for Anton,” he told the Sunderland Echo.“Nevland’s body weight came down on the ankle when they went to ground and he’s no chance of being ready for the weekend.
“He’s got no chance for Saturday and it looks like it could be a month at least for him. It’s disappointing for him and disappointing for me.”
Bruce is now facing a defensive injury crisis ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Portsmouth.
George McCartney is struggling with a hamstring problem and John Mensah has a calf injury, while Kieran Richardson and Phil Bardsley are both suspended.