Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is keeping his fingers crossed Darren Bent's injury sustained on duty for his country will not harm his club's cause.
Bent had been expected to start alongside Wayne Rooney in Tuesday's European Championship qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley.
However, Sunderland's leading goalscorer has been ruled out with a groin strain that makes him an immediate doubt for the Black Cats' Barclays Premier League clash at Blackburn on Monday.
With an extra two days to recover, however, Bruce is hopeful the striker will be fit, although he is waiting for the player to return, and told Sunderland's official website: "We're hoping it's not too serious, but Darren's still with England at the moment so we won't put any timescales until our own medical team have had a chance to assess the injury."
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