Sunderland have confirmed that midfielder Kieran Richardson will be sidelined for three weeks following his latest injury setback.
Richardson hurt his hamstring during training last week and was forced out of the weekend defeat at Spurs.
The news came as a real blow to Sunderland as Richardson has only just returned from a back problem, and during that time made a huge impact with three goals in five games.
"Kieran will be out for about three weeks, he's damaged his hamstring but that's life and you have to get on with the challenge," said Black Cats boss Roy Keane.
"We seem to take one step forward and two back at the moment, whether that be football results or injuries. We're missing Grant (Leadbitter), he is out for two to three weeks with a broken toe. Danny Higginbotham is out for four to six weeks. That is the challenge we face.
"Kieran is one of our more quality players but I felt the players that came in on Saturday did a good job. But a player like Kieran, and Kenwyne Jones and even Carlos Edwards, we miss that quality without a doubt.
"We'll persevere. Perseverance is possibly the biggest word you can use in football. You get setbacks and the result on Saturday was a disappointment but life goes on and makes the next match even bigger."