Sunderland have been dealt a major blow with the news that Fraizer Campbell could miss the majority of next season if he requires a second knee operation.
The 23-year-old striker damaged his cruciate ligament in August last year and was close to a return to action before twisting his knee in training.
Manager Steve Bruce has already revealed that it is unlikely the former Manchester United man will play again this term but has now added to the misery.
"We do fear for him. We think the surgeon needs to go and have a look inside his knee again and if it does need repairing again, then Fraizer is going to miss the best part of next season as well, which is an even worse blow for us and more importantly, for the kid," Bruce said.
"Nobody could have done his rehabilitation better than he did, but he fell over and twisted it on the Friday before we played Manchester City.
"The way it's going for us at the moment, we do fear that the boy might need another operation, and that could rule him out for the best part of next season as well."
Sunderland head into Saturday's Premier League clash against Birmingham with only two fit strikers.
Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck, who has himself only just returned from a knee injury, are set to lead the line in an important game at St Andrews.
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