Sunderland manager Lee Johnson has revealed that defender Tom Flanagan is facing up to six weeks on the sidelines with a broken metatarsal.
Flanagan was absent from the Black Cats’ matchday squad on Saturday night as they played out a 1-1 draw with Hull City at the Stadium of Light, and it now seems as though Flanagan is feeling the effects of an injury he has been suffering for some time.
Providing an explanation for Flanagan’s absence from the squad following that draw, Johnson was quoted by The Sunderland Echo as saying: “Flanno has got a broken metatarsal sustained, I think, before I came in. He’s been playing on with that but it’s painful, and losing him is a difficult one to take.”
Discussing the severity of the injury, and how long it might keep the defender out of action for, Johnson seemed relatively optimistic about the situation as he went on to add
: “It’s a very small break or fracture. It could be as short as three weeks or it could be as long as six weeks.
“I think it will be the shorter version, and that’s good because he is important and I think he’s been playing well.”
So far this season, Flanagan has been a regular feature for Sunderland, making 17 appearances in all competitions for the Black Cats, helping them to tenth place in the current Championship standings.
This news on Flanagan does seem to be something of a blow for Sunderland.
The defender has seemingly been an important player for them so far this season, given the amount he has been playing, so his presence in defence is likely to be a miss.
Indeed, having just seen several games postponed, the hectic schedule Sunderland are now set to face means it is probably not the best time for them to be having to cope with injuries such as this.
However, judging by Johnson’s comments here, it does seem as though things could have been worse than they are, which is at least a good thing, and you do have to admire Flanagan’s commitment to the club in playing on through that injury blow.