Sunderland have confirmed that striker Steven Fletcher has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after undergoing ankle surgery.
The 26-year-old has missed the club's last three games after damaging ankle ligaments whilst on international duty with Scotland last month. The Black Cats had hoped Fletcher would recover without requiring surgery, but that wasn't the case and the player had the operation on Monday.
Sunderland haven't yet given a timescale for his recovery. However, it's understood Fletcher - who is the club's top scorer this season with 11 goals - should be ready for the start of the 2013/2014 campaign.