Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has been dealt a fresh blow with the news that defender Anton Ferdinand could be sidelined for at least a month.

The 24-year-old was hurt in a challenge by striker Erik Nevland in Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Fulham and is facing a spell in the treatment room.

"It's a nasty one for Anton. He's got no chance for Saturday and it looks like it could be a month at least for him," Bruce told the Sunderland Echo.

"It's disappointing for him and disappointing for me."

Ferdinand's misfortune ahead of Saturday's home clash with Portsmouth comes with George McCartney struggling with a hamstring problem, John Mensah out with a calf injury and Kieran Richardson and Phil Bardsley both suspended.

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