IRISH midfielder Chris McCann may be forced to write off the rest of the Premier League campaign after he failed in his bid to recover from injury.
Dubliner McCann was a key player for Burnley when they won promotion last season but he has managed just two games in the past six months due to knee injuries.
He was due to make his comeback from injury in a reserve game against Manchester United last night (where Owen Hargreaves made a comeback) but McCann was withdrawn from the Clarets squad and manager Brian Laws says the injury is so serious that the club may decide to send him for surgery now, instead of waiting to see if he can play again this season.
"I think we've got to a point where we need a decision," said Laws. "If he's going to break down the decision is made, isn't it? I think we have to get to that point because we can't allow it to go right to the end of the season and give it rest, and then he breaks down in the summer.
"We have to make a decision sooner rather than later, and we are at that point now."
Meyler has laid marker: Bruce
SUNDERLAND boss Steve Bruce says that Ireland U21 cap David Meyler has been so impressive in the Black Cats midfield that he can't leave him out of the side.
Meyler returned from suspension to take his place in the Sunderland side against Manchester City last weekend and delivered a strong display which should keep him in the team for tomorrow's meeting with Birmingham City.
"Young David Meyler came in and played very well against Man City. One thing he has got is a huge heart and a huge appetite for the game," said Bruce.
"He's only 20 but he came in and the stats showed he ran 13km on Sunday. It would be very difficult for me to leave him out of the team -- he's put a huge marker down for himself and now he has to live up to that," added Bruce, who also said that Andy Reid may have to wait for his return following injury.