Sunderland have confirmed that striker David Connolly has undergone a second bout of surgery as he fights his way back from injury.
The 31-year-old Republic of Ireland international had an operation on a groin problem in Germany last week. Connolly has also had hip surgery since he last played for the club against Wigan in the FA Cup third round in January.
Manager Roy Keane said: "David has had another operation and hopefully it will lead to the end of his problems. He's been out for some time, but we are hopeful he will be able to resume his career now."
Connolly was one of six men to arrive at the Stadium of Light on the final day of the summer transfer window in 2006 after Keane took over.
He has made 42 appearances, scoring 13 goals, and is now in the final year of his contract.
Meanwhile, luckless defender Russell Anderson has been allowed to spend time with his family in Scotland as he recovers from his cruciate ligament injury.
The 30-year-old, who was sidelined for much of last season after undergoing reconstructive ankle surgery, damaged his knee while on a season-long loan spell at Coca-Cola Championship Burnley.
Anderson returned to Wearside for treatment, but is currently back at home.
Keane told the club's official website, www.safc.com: "Russell is back in Scotland at the moment.
"He's at the stage of his rehab where there's not much he can do physically."
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