Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill says he's remaining positive over the knee injury Wes Brown picked up during the club's pre-season campaign.
The 32-year-old suffered suspected knee ligament damage in the 3-2 win over over FC Groningen in the Peace Cup, in Korea on Sunday. Brown is due to have a scan on the injury today, but O'Neill says the injury may not be as bad as was first thought.
– Martin O'Neill, Sunderland AFC Manager
It might not be as bad as we possibly think.
Speaking at a club press conference ahead of tomorrow's friendly with North East neighbours Hartlepool, he said: "He's going for a scan today and we're obviously concerned about him. He has swollen up somewhat - his knee - and he's been really unfortunate.
"He's been unfortunate with a number of injuries that he's picked up here and at his previous club as well too, and it's been a real shame for him. But hopefully it might not be as bad as we possibly think."
The former Manchester United star spent a large portion of last season out with a knee injury, which he sustained in an FA Cup match with Middlesbrough on January 29. The defender also suffered two cruciate knee ligament injuries during his time at Old Trafford.
If the outcome of Brown's scan is positive news, it would ease the loss of fellow defender Michael Turner. The club is on the verge of selling the 28-year-old to Premier League side Norwich.
Turner had a medical with the Canaries yesterday, and O'Neill confirmed the deal is close to being complete. He said: "Negotiations are taking place this minute with Norwich, and he's been given permission to go down and speak to them. So we're just waiting to find out what will happen.
"I think Norwich have been very keen. A fee has been agreed, and we'll just wait to hear from Norwich and from Michael."
Meanwhile, O'Neill was also quizzed about his own plans for summer recruits. So far, the Black Cats have only signed defender Carlos Cuellar on a free transfer from Aston Villa despite there being a number of outgoings.
Ghanian striker Asamoah Gyan has been sold to UAE side Al-Ain on a permanent deal, and Denmark forward Nicklas Bendtner has returned to his parent club Arsenal after his loan spell at the Stadium of Light ended.
Speculation is rife that the club will attempt to sign a new frontman this summer, but O'Neill says goal scorers that are proven at Premier League level are hard to come by. He said: "We're looking to try and add to the squad obviously to give ourselves a little bit of strength in depth.
"Players who can score goals or can play centre forward in the fashion that's needed in the Premiership are few and far between. They're hard to find and usually they cost a lot of money."
Sunderland will continue their pre-season preparations on Friday evening when they face League One side Hartlepool United. It will be club's second visit to Victoria Park in successive summers after the teams went head-to-head in Ritchie Humpreys' testimonial last year.