Better news on the injury front

Last updated : 24 April 2003 By Martyn

Despite a broken knuckle and a gashed head our very own 'captain marvel' will lead the team out at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Perhaps the bandage on Shearer’s head will prove to be a lucky omen, as he sported similar attire when scoring against the Mackems at St James’ Park earlier in the season!

Jonathan Woodgate will play if at all possible and a decision on his fitness will be made on the morning of the game, while Craig Bellamy has reported that his knee injury is no longer causing him problems.

With Gary Speed definitely out it now appears likely that Jermaine Jenas will be risked in the game, despite his recent finger operation.

"JJ has a massive dislocation of the finger and unfortunately it's broken as well," Sir Bobby told the Evening Chronicle.

"It has been repaired with a screw and wires and put back into joint but it is still very painful.

"It is really a four to six-week rehabilitation job to get the finger right and if he falls on it or gets it knocked, it's going to be very unpleasant.

"But, as the surgeon says, if he plays in two weeks time, he is just as likely to get it knocked as he is in four to six weeks time.

"So the surgeon is more or less saying to us and the player that he may as well take a risk, but we will just have to wait and see."

Meanwhile Brian Kerr returns from injury in the reserve game against Manchester United on Thursday, when Darren Ambrose will make his debut.