Injury adds to McCarthy's problems

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SUNDERLAND have been dealt a blow with the news that Richie Ryan faces three months out after undergoing a knee operation.

The young midfielder was expected to push for a first-team spot as many of the star players in Mick McCarthy's squad are looking to be sold off to ease the club's financial plight.

18-year-old Ryan had already made his debut in the first team last season appearing as a substitute in two Premiership contests against Arsenal and Newcastle United.

The knee problem will also rule him out of the Republic of Ireland's Under-19s European Championship qualification mini-tournament in September.