Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Another Injury for Wear Ace McNair; McNair Plays Pain Game Again, and Loss Will Hurt Cats

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Another Injury for Wear Ace McNair; McNair Plays Pain Game Again, and Loss Will Hurt Cats

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER Sports Writer stuart.rayner@trinitymirror.com

PADDY McNair will be missing what the Northern Irishman was expecting to be the biggest game of his career after the latest in a catalogue of injuries.

The 22-year-old midfielder has been Sunderland's best player of late so it is a huge blow to be without him for tonight's visit of Norwich City.

After his goalscoring display against Leeds United, McNair said it would be the most important match of a career which has taken in the European Championships, while manager Chris Coleman called it a "must, mustwin" as his team looks to bridge the seven-point gap to safety in their five remaining matches.

McNair, though, is likely to have to watch from the sidelines.

His manager said: "Paddy's injured his knee, although it's completely different to the knee injury he was out with for so long.

"He just landed badly and jarred his knee. We couldn't risk him in training on Monday, and we're not expecting him to be recovered enough to play.

"If he is, brilliant, but I don't think it's going to happen.

"He just took a bit of a bad landing at Leeds on Saturday and I think there was a bit of pressure from the tackle as well.

"It's nothing serious, it's just the quick turnaround."

McNair returned from cruciate knee ligament damage in October, since when he has picked up a couple of minor groin problems, Turn to Page 46 FROM BACK PAGE and now this. He has kicked off Sunderland's last three games, his longest run of consecutive starts since joining from Man-chester United two years ago.

Coleman added: "He's giving everything he has because he's trying to prove he can play week in, week out.

"Sometimes, you can go above and beyond and it can be to your detriment.

"Paddy's performances have been great and he's pushing and pushing. He was a little bit unlucky on Saturday.

"I think he's showing now he's much closer to the level we expect of him.

"If he gets there and he's playing week in, week out, he'll be like a brand new player for us. …

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