DAVID MEYLER has vowed to make a successful comeback from the cruel recurrence of his knee problems.
The talented Cork lad, who had just returned to the Sunderland first team from a cruciate lay-off, appears to have ruptured the same ligaments in his side's win over Aston Villa on Wednesday night and now faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Black Cats boss Steve Bruce was devastated by events at Villa Park, and questioned if he had acted unwisely by using Meyler so frequently after his return ahead of schedule.
Nevertheless, the 21-year-old is determined to fight back from the latest setback. Indeed, within hours of being stretchered off on Wednesday he used Twitter to thank well-wishers and declare, "I'll be back, don't you worry."
He uttered similar sentiments yesterday. "Thanks to everyone for the text messages, comments, tweets, and the 97 inbox messages I've had. It's really appreciated, honestly. They're the little things that keep me going. Thank you."
Meyler had been tipped for a call-up to the Irish squad for next month's Carling Nations Cup encounter with Wales. Last summer, he was unable to take up an invitation to the summer training camp because of his first knee issue.
The former Cork City midfielder has come on in leaps and bounds since moving to England, impressing with his remarkable work-rate and athleticism. Those attributes will be required to bring him back to full fitness.
"He was magnificent on Saturday against Blackburn Rovers and with Lee Cattermole out for the month, David was the only one I could ask to come in and do that sort of job," said Bruce. "But I ask myself if I asked too much of him, and I hope not."