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James Hunter

Sunderland's Ross Stewart reportedly ruled out for the season but injury not as bad as first feared

Ross Stewart's Achilles injury will rule him out for the rest of the season - but he will be back in time for pre-season training, according to a report. Sunderland's star striker suffered the injury in the first half of Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup fourth round draw at Fulham.

The Scotland international returned to Wearside wearing a protective plastic boot and initially it was feared that he had suffered a total rupture of the Achilles, which could have sidelined him for up to 18 months. But today Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie tweeted that the injury was not as bad as was first thought, with a scan revealing a 30 percent tear rather than a full rupture.

And he further revealed that the 26-year-old will have an operation in London later this week before beginning his rehabilitation work in a fortnight's time. There has been no official confirmation from Sunderland as yet as to the extent of Stewart's injury and it is unlikely that the club will make any comment on transfer deadline day while they are searching for a replacement.

READ MORE: Sunderland confirm deadline day signing of Joe Anderson from Everton

But if the update is accurate, it will come as a major relief both to Stewart and boss Tony Mowbray, that the injury will not rule Stewart out beyond the end of the season. Nevertheless, it is still a devastating blow for the Black Cats in the current campaign.

Stewart has already missed three-and-a-half months of the season due to a thigh injury, but when he has played his form has been electric and he has scored ten Championship goals in 13 games. Everton's decision to recall Ellis Simms from his loan spell on Wearside at the beginning of the month left Stewart to shoulder the goalscoring burden alone until the club brought in Joe Gelhardt from Leeds United on loan last week.

Now Stewart's injury leaves Gelhardt as Sunderland's sole out-and-out centre-forward, leaving the club's recruitment team in a desperate race against time to bring in at least one more striker before the transfer window closes tonight at 11pm.


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