Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was on Monday keeping his fingers crossed amid fears that midfielder Lee Cattermole could be sidelined for months.

The 21-year-old was due to undergo a scan on the knee he injured during Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Liverpool with the early signs suggesting he suffered ligament damage.

Tests will determine whether or not that is the case and, if it is, whether it is the medial or cruciate ligament that has been affected with the latter representing the more serious scenario.

Cattermole, like striker Kenwyne Jones, left the pitch at the Stadium of Light on a stretcher, while full-back George McCartney had to be replaced at half-time after complaining of feeling unwell.

Jones was taken straight to hospital with a twisted ankle, but has since been discharged, while McCartney should be available again for Saturday's trip to Birmingham.

But Bruce will hope he does not have to do without Cattermole, who has already endured a significant spell in the treatment room since his £6million summer move from Wigan with a troublesome heel problem, for an extended period.

The former Middlesbrough enforcer has been a big hit on Wearside this season and was missed during his enforced lay-off, and any lengthy absence would come as a huge blow to his team.

Cattermole has formed an impressive central midfield partnership with fellow new arrival Lorik Cana which has been one of the major reasons for their impressive start to the campaign.

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