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SOCCER

Sunderland suffers double injury blow

Sunderland will be without two key players for the rest of the season as it was revealed on Wednesday that striker Steven Fletcher and captain Lee Cattermole have played their last match of the campaign.

Fletcher leads the Black Cats with 11 goals in 28 Premiership matches this season, but he sustained an ankle ligament injury on international duty that may require surgery.

Cattermole started 23 games last year for Sunderland, but has been limited to 10 matches this season because of injury issues, and his season has come to an end after undergoing an operation on his knee.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Sunderland have confirmed today that striker Steven Fletcher and captain Lee Cattermole will miss the rest of the current campaign due to injury.

"Cattermole underwent an operation on his knee earlier today and Fletcher sustained ankle ligament damage while on international duty with Scotland.

"It is not known at this stage if Fletcher will require an operation, with the injury requiring further assessment in the coming weeks.

"Both players will play no further part in the Black Cats 2012-13 Barclays Premier League season."

Sunderland resides in 15th place in the league table, four points above the relegation places with eight games to play.