THE SUNDERLAND midfielder Claudio Reyna has been ruled out for six months - which is effectively the remainder of the season - with a cruciate ligament injury.
Scans confirmed the extent of the injury, which the American international midfielder sustained during Monday's 1-1 Premiership draw with Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium. The US national team orthopaedic consultant, Mandel Boum, flew in from the States yesterday to see Reyna and deliver the bad news.
The 29-year-old needs an operation, but surgery cannot be carried out until the swelling has settled, so it will be scheduled for between two and three weeks' time in Los Angeles.
The new Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson said: "We will find out in the next three or four weeks how much we will miss Claudio," he said. "His problem is somebody else's opportunity.
"Obviously you don't want to to lose good players, but the fact is we have lost him and we have to move on. If he is back in contention before the end of the season, that is going to be a bonus.
"Fortunately these days knee injuries are nowhere near career- threatening as they used to be and it's a fact of life very few footballers go through their career without having a serious injury."
West Ham United's Scottish international midfielder Don Hutchison has suffered a setback in his quest for a speedy return from a knee injury. …