London – Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole is likely to be out of action for around two months with a knee injury, manager Martin O'Neill revealed on Friday.

The central midfielder sustained suspected medial ligament damage during the 0-0 draw at home to Queens Park Rangers last month.

Cattermole is expected to be out until the beginning of February, meaning he could miss up to 12 matches as Sunderland attempt to move away from the Premier League relegation zone.

“He'll probably be about another two months,” O'Neill said. “I knew the news wouldn't be too good. It could have been worse but obviously, it could have been better.” – AFP