O'Shea fit to face Reds

Defender to play with protective cast on broken hand

John O'Shea: Suffered a fractured hand in the draw with Newcastle last weekend

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Sunderland defender John O'Shea is set to face Liverpool this weekend despite suffering a fractured hand.

O'Shea sustained the injury during last weekend's stormy 1-1 draw with local rivals Newcastle at St James' Park.

The 30-year-old has been passed fit to play against the Reds by wearing a protective cast to cover the broken bone.

Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill admits he feared the worst with O'Shea's injury, but is delighted to have him available for the visit of Kenny Dalglish's side.

"John O'Shea got a hand injury at Newcastle. It's a small bone in his hand which has fractured"

Martin O'Neill on John O'Shea

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"John O'Shea got a hand injury at Newcastle. It's a small bone in his hand which has fractured," O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo.

"But he wants to play on Saturday, so we will splint it up for a few weeks.

"He could hardly hold anything after the game - he doesn't even remember how it happened.

"I was really worried about him. He went down to a place at Wigan on Monday, but the news was good."

Richardson

The news is not so good on left-back Kieran Richardson, who limped off with a calf problem during the final few minutes of draw with the Magpies.

Richardson has undergone a scan on the area and he is major doubt for the game with Liverpool.

"Kieran did get an injury. He had a scan yesterday, which is a concern," added O'Neill.