Sunderland pair Cattermole and Fletcher to miss rest of the season

Sunderland have been left reeling by the double blow that top scorer Steven Fletcher and captain Lee Cattermole will miss the rest of the season, threating the club’s Premier League future, according to the Daily Mail.

Fletcher, a £10m signing from Wolves, suffered an ankle injury while playing for Scotland against Wales and a second scan revealed the damage was much more extensive than first thought. The striker will miss at least six weeks of action and could have to undergo surgery to cure the problem.

The Mail adds that without the 11 goals scored by Fletcher this season, Martin O’Neill’s side would be bottom of the Premier League, having netted only 33 times in their 30 games. Danny Graham was bought from Swansea City in the January transfer window but he has yet to get off the mark for the Mackems, going six games without a goal.

Cattermole, meanwhile, has only featured twice for the Black Cats since November, and underwent knee surgery this week, ruling him out of the final eight games of the season.

Sunderland are currently 15th in the table, four points off the relegation zone but having played a game more than Wigan Athletic, who occupy 18th place. Sunderland’s next match is against runaway league leaders Manchester United on Saturday.

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