Arca likely to miss run-in

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SUNDERLAND'S Argentinian midfielder Julio Arca looks set to miss the remainder of the season after flying home to recover from a groin injury.

The 21-year-old has not played for The Black Cats since February, when the injury was first thought to be only minor, but the club have now confirmed the severity of the strain.

"Julio has gone back to Argentina and is not due back for another ten days," said manager Peter Reid to the Sunderland Echo.

"He might still have a chance of being involved before the end of the season, but we're not quite sure at the moment.

"Julio gives us an option in the side that we've missed over the last few months, but I also believe that he's played probably too much football over the last couple of years and I think the rest could do him a lot of good," concluded Reid.

Sunderland have won only two out of eight matches in Arca's absence, but only need one more win to ensure Premiership survival.

Meanwhile, The Black Cats are hoping to sign on loan striker Patrick Mboma on a permanent basis after impressing whilst at the Stadium of Light.

The Parma star has scored one goal in five starts, and came on as a second-half substitute against Leeds in their 2-0 defeat at Elland Road.