O'Shea fit to face Liverpool

PA Sport

Defender John O'Shea will face Liverpool on Saturday wearing a protective cast over a broken bone in his hand as Sunderland count the cost of a bruising derby encounter.

The 30-year-old suffered the fracture during Sunday's stormy 1-1 draw at Newcastle, in which the Black Cats conceded an injury-time equaliser as victory was snatched from their grasp at the death. O'Shea finished the game, but went to see a specialist on Monday and has been given the go-ahead to play in the cast.

Manager Martin O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo: "John O'Shea got a hand injury at Newcastle. It's a small bone in his hand which has fractured. But he wants to play on Saturday, so we will splint it up for a few weeks."

He added: "He could hardly hold anything after the game - he doesn't even remember how it happened.

"I was really worried about him. He went down to a place at Wigan on Monday, but the news was good."

The news is not so good, however, of left-back Kieran Richardson, who limped off with a calf problem during the final few minutes of the game.

He has undergone a scan, but is a major doubt for the weekend.

O'Neill said: "Kieran did get an injury. He had a scan [on Wednesday], which is a concern."

If Richardson does not make it, either loan signing Wayne Bridge or midfielder Jack Colback, who played at left-back earlier in the season, could take his place.

Meanwhile, keeper Keiren Westwood is continuing his recovery from the wrist injury which saw him withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad last week, while Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos is working his way back from the foot injury which kept him out at the weekend.

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