Stadium of Light star may not be as badly hurt as first feared.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is keeping his fingers crossed over Connor Wickham’s knee injury.
The 18-year-old striker suffered suspected ligament damaged just seconds into Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester United.
Bruce was bracing himself for a long lay-off, potentially six months, in the immediate aftermath of the game.
But initial scans have suggested the outlook may be less gloomy, and the Black Cats will learn the full extent of any damage later this week.
“Initial scans are encouraging, but hopefully we will know more by the end of the week,” Bruce said.
Wickham himself revealed the better news in a tweet last night.
He said: “Scans showing injury not as bad as first thought, waiting to see a knee specialist later in the week.”
Meanwhile Sunderland defender John O’Shea could play some part in the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2012 play-off with Estonia.
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni is hoping the 30-year-old will recover in time for the second-leg.
“We will wait for John O’Shea,” said the Italian. “He is not fit for this [the first] game, but he will come with us on Saturday.”