Sunderland have suffered a major blow to their hopes of avoiding relegation, with confirmation Paddy McNair ruptured his ACL during the 3-0 victory over Hull City on Saturday (19 November). The former Manchester United star will not return to action until next season, according to manager David Moyes.
Moyes signed the 21-year-old midfielder from United in the summer transfer window. He has since made 12 appearances for the Black Cats, scoring a brace during an EFL Cup win over QPR.
McNair has started in the centre of midfield in the recent consecutive wins over Bournemouth and Hull City, Sunderland's first victories of the Premier League season.
But the Northern Ireland international is now expected to miss the rest of the campaign having ruptured his ACL against the Tigers.
But the versatile midfielder is now expected to miss the rest of the season after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against the Tigers, forcing off in the 88th minute of the game despite picking up the injury before half-time when he closed down Curtis Davis on the edge of his own penalty area.
"Paddy McNair has been ruled out of action after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament," the club have confirmed.
The news are a big blow for Moyes as Sunderland are looking to keep their momentum in their coming trip to Liverpool on Saturday 26 November.
"Paddy was starting to understand more about the club, the supporters and also the general game, so it's a real shame for the boy," Moyes said. "He's really keen to do well and he works really hard at his game to try and improve, so we're incredibly disappointed because we want to try and build a young team going forward and Paddy was part of that."
"I think he'd just started to find his way in the Premier League – even though he had experience at Manchester United – and the games he was having were bringing him on and giving him confidence. He probably won't have his operation for over a week because he's got a cut on his knee and they can't operate while there is an open wound, so we have to wait until that heals so it might be a week or two. We won't see him again this season and all we can hope is getting him right for the start of next season."
The Black Cats have been hit by a number of injuries since the start of the season, with Lee Cattermole and Fabio Borini also sidelined for long spells.
Papy Djilobodji is set to miss the trip to Liverpool due to suspension but Jan Kirchhoff could be available after making his return from injury during the Sunderland U23s win over Manchester United earlier this week.