Sunderland midfielder David Meyler is to see a specialist after initial scans confirmed he ruptured knee ligaments during Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Manchester United.
The 20-year-old was stretchered off during the first half of the club's final home game, and manager Steve Bruce later revealed initial checks suggested he had suffered a cruciate ligament injury.
Scans have now confirmed a rupture and Meyler is to consult a specialist later this week to assess the extent of the injury and what treatment is required.
"An initial scan has confirmed our medical team's first thoughts that David has ruptured ligaments in his right knee," Bruce told the club's official website, www.safc.com.
"He will see a knee specialist this week when further plans will be confirmed."
Meyler's misfortune struck just a week after he signed a new five-year contract following his emergence from the ranks into the first team.
His form has won praise from his club manager and caught the eye of Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, who called him up for a training camp later this month.
Bruce said last week: "Meyler has been unfortunate - he turned his ankle in pre-season badly and was out for three months, and then came back and did his other one, so we didn't see him until Christmas.
"But Jordan (Henderson) and Meyler have got big futures here - that's why we have rewarded them both with five-year contracts."
However, Meyler will now face months on the sidelines and seems certain to miss the start of the new season as he battles his way back to fitness.
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