Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher ruled out for up to six weeks

Fletcher faces a spell on the sidelines. Photo: PA

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher has been ruled out for four to six weeks after dislocating his shoulder at West Brom last Saturday, interim head coach Kevin Ball has confirmed.

The Scotland international striker dislocated his shoulder during last Saturday's 3-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at West Brom, and there were concerns that he could be sidelined for several months.

However, interim head coach Kevin Ball revealed on Friday afternoon that the latest prognosis is much more positive.

Ball said: "The news is better than we expected. Hopefully, it will be four to six weeks, which is great news.

Fletcher, who was the Black Cats' top scorer with 11 goals last season, missed the end of last season and the start of the current campaign after undergoing ankle surgery.