Sunderland midfielder Darron Gibson has undergone surgery on the groin injury he sustained in our New Year’s Day defeat to Barnsley, and will be missing for between eight and twelve weeks.
Chris Coleman today confirmed to the media that the groin muscle has completely torn off the bone and will require surgical procedure to repair, potentially keeping the Manchester United midfielder on the sidelines until April.
He’s had surgery so Darron will be out for eight to 12 weeks.
It’s a blow because the way we were going it was going well for Darron, but it’ll be between eight and 12 weeks I imagine.
Despite initially struggling after arriving on Wearside, Gibson has been an important part of Chris Coleman’s plans over recent months and the news of the extent of his injury will no doubt be met with groans from the Sunderland faithful, who have no doubt been impressed by the vast improvement in the Irish playmaker’s form.
Whilst much has changed since last season at Sunderland, not for one moment did I expect that I’d be sat here mourning the news that Darron Gibson is set to spend an extended spell on the sidelines.
Gibson was one of the numerous ‘bargains’ that David Moyes signed during his horrific reign on Wearside, and a majority of those signings quickly proved themselves to be failures.
Papy Djilobodji, Adnan Januzaj, Javi Manquillo, Victor Anichebe, Steven Pienaar and Joleon Lescott were quickly shown the exit, with Bryan Oviedo and Didier Ndong being the only players able to really make a mark in our threadbare squad.
While many expected Gibson would spend the rest of his Sunderland career on the bench - purely to make up the numbers - the Irishman has rather spectacularly proved us wrong, although there's no doubt about the fact that Chris Coleman has had a massive part to play in his improvement.
Since Coleman's arrival, Gibson has morphed into a completely different player, becoming the main man in our team, dictating play from the centre of the park.
Everything works around him when he’s in the team and for a majority of the time his ability to spray long balls to the flanks and pull off impressive interceptions and tackles has worked wonders for us.
Gibson practically ran the game against Barnsley until he succumbed to injury, and it wasn't much of a surprise that we massively struggled without him on the field over the sixty minutes that followed - a transformation of epic proportions when you consider how little worth to the squad he had prior to the new manager’s arrival.
It sounds very strange to say, but without Gibson in the team, I fear that we are going to be in big trouble. You have to look at our other options and wonder whether anyone is actually capable of taking on that role that the 30-year-old plays so well.
Paddy McNair is expected to return soon from his latest fitness issue and, while I quite like him, he has proved himself to be quite prone to injury - only making twelve appearances for the club in a year and a half. We can't rely on a player that has, in fact, spent more time injured than he has on the pitch for us.
Add to that the continued absence of Jack Rodwell, Didier Ndong and Lee Cattermole, and it’s hard to see who we realistically replace Gibson with from within our squad.