SUNDERLAND'S rising Irish star David Meyler has received some welcome good news after scans revealed that he did not rupture his cruciate ligament in Wednesday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa, writes Daniel McDonnell.
Meyler and the Sunderland staff feared the worst after he hurt the same right knee that had kept him out of football for eight months.
Instead, it has emerged that he damaged the medial ligaments. The Cork lad still faces a spell on the sidelines, but for a shorter period than the six months that was predicted when another cruciate setback was suspected.
Nevertheless, Steve Bruce is likely to be patient, with the manager afraid that he rushed Meyler back too quickly and wondering if he was asked to play too many games in a short space of time.
"I questioned myself," said Bruce, "Should I have protected him better? But we needed to win the game."
Ronaldinho remains in Blackburn's sights
DESPITE all evidence to the contrary, Blackburn Rovers' caretaker manager Steve Kean maintains that Ronaldinho could still join this month.
Ronaldinho is on the verge of returning to Brazil to play for Gremio yet Kean is still publicly declaring that a move for the Milan playmaker could go ahead.
Speaking at Rovers' windswept training ground before today's FA Cup tie with QPR, the attractions of Blackburn over Brazil seemed few and far between yet until Ronaldinho's move to Gremio is officially formalised, Kean will remain hopeful.
"The information we got back on Thursday from the agency that looks after him was that he would consider the UK," he said. "It seemed to be slipping away.
"Milan have said they will consider him going anywhere. We're told he would consider it. I'm trying to get the player to commit to come over and speak to us and then to deal with his club."
Birmingham sign Bentley on loan
Birmingham City have agreed a deal to sign David Bentley on loan for the season and have had an initial £700,000 offer accepted for Rangers striker Kenny Miller.
Bentley has fallen out of favour at Tottenham and wants regular football. Miller is considering a move from Ibrox, where he has scored 22 goals this season but is out of contract this summer.
Newcastle are hopeful of signing Swedish midfielder Sebastian Larsson from Birmingham when the deal for Bentley is completed.
Fulham have completed the signing of Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell for an undisclosed fee on an initial six-month deal, which could potentially see him stay until the summer of 2014.