Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has 11 potential first team starters injured for Saturday’s match at Bolton.Midfielder Kieran Richardson was ruled out for the rest of the season on Friday, the latest in a long list.
The injuries have contributed to Sunderland’s run of one win from their last 14 league matches.
“I have been in the game 30-odd years and I have never known anything like this. We have around 10 players who will not feature again this season,” Bruce said.
“It is quite incredible but we just have to try and get on with it but I have not known anything like this.”
Bruce is resigned to fielding a patched-up side.
“In any league it is difficult to plug those gaps we have. We have been wondering if we have been doing anything wrong.”
“It has just been one of those horrible six months where we seem to get one or two back then we get three or four injured in the meantime. It has been a hell of a tough time.”
Richardson’s injury is the latest blow. The former Manchester United player took a knock in Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat by West Brom and a scan revealed a fracture.
“He will miss the rest of the season. We diagnosed on Thursday that it looks like a stress fracture of his fibula,” Bruce said.
“We had X-rays after the game against West Brom and had a scan in the week and did not detect anything. But unfortunately the injury did not seem to go away.”
“Kieran has tried manfully one or two times and we re-scanned him on Thursday and picked up this stress fracture.”
Sunderland will be without goalkeeper Craig Gordon (knee), defenders Titus Bramble (knee) and Michael Turner (knee) and midfielders David Meyler (knee), Jordan Henderson (ankle) and Lee Cattermole (shoulder).
Forwards Fraizer Campbell (knee), Richardson (calf), Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and Asamoah Gyan (hamstring) will also miss.