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Bruce to handle Meyler with care

STEVE Bruce says that Irish midfielder David Meyler will not be rushed back into first team action even though the Cork native has made a successful return from injury.

Ex-Cork City man Meyler played 45 minutes for Sunderland's reserves on Wednesday, his first game since he suffered an horrific knee injury in January, and Bruce insists that the club will take their time with the 22-year-old.

"We've just got to be patient and give David as much time as we can," Bruce said. "As much time as he needs. This is a huge time for him and we need to see how he comes through this game first of all.

"I know people will see him back playing and will hope that it won't be long before he is in the first team, but this is only the start of what will be a very long process.

"Sometimes after training his knee swells up and we have to make sure we treat him with kid gloves and give him the best possible chance of getting back fit again."