News that Sunderland fans have feared has finally been confirmed this morning with reports suggesting that Lee Cattermole is expected to miss up to eight weeks on the sidelines through a knee ligament injury.
Whilst this will come as no real surprise to most fans as talk of a lengthy spell in the physio room has been widely speculated since the skipper's early withdrawal from the QPR game, it is certainly no less of a blow. Sunderland are undoubtedly a better side with the Teesider in the middle of the park and his influence has been sorely missed as of late with those stepping into the berth struggling to match Cattermole's drive and desire.
With the bad news now confirmed I would fully expect O'Neill to go through with any plans that may have been on the table with regards to recalling David Meyler from his loan spell at Hull to help bolster his options to cover Cattermole's absence. Indeed I believe this may well spur the club into action in the upcoming transfer window, although I'd like to think that this would be a key area they were planning on improving regardless.
In the meanwhile it is certainly a concern as the centre of midfield has been a major issue this term even when Cattermole was involved. How the team will react in the upcoming fixtures against Chelsea and Reading we will have to wait and see - and pray. Definitely pray.