Sunderland’s Paddy McNair is facing a “lengthy spell” out of action after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, the club have announced.
McNair, who can play in defence or midfield, sustained the injury in the 42nd minute of Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League home win over Hull as he closed down Curtis Davies, although he did not come off until the 88th minute.
Amid reports he is set to miss the rest of the season, Sunderland said in a statement on their official website on Wednesday: “McNair faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines but will now focus on returning to action as quickly as possible.”
The 21-year-old Northern Ireland international has made 12 appearances in all competitions for Sunderland after joining them from Manchester United over the summer.
He has scored two goals for the Black Cats, both of which came in the 2-1 EFL Cup win at QPR in September.
The setback for the Wearside outfit comes at a time when their league campaign has just begun to pick up.
The victory over Hull was the second win in a row for David Moyes’ 19th-placed side, who had failed to take maximum points in any of their previous 10 games this term.
As well as Sunderland’s continued efforts to move away from the relegation zone, McNair also looks set to miss Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Norway in March.
As the news of the knee injury emerged, messages of support for McNair were posted on Twitter from the official accounts of both Northern Ireland and Manchester United.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 23, 2016
The message from his national team said: “Paddy McNair has suffered a cruciate ligament injury & is expected to miss the rest of the season. Get well soon Paddy!”
United’s message said: “Everyone at #MUFC wishes you a speedy recovery, Paddy!”