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Duo will miss the club's last three games but boss Steve Bruce hopeful both players will be ready for the new season, with the side facing contending with an injury crisis

Steve Bruce has been handed a fresh injury blow after announcing he will be without Kieran Richardson and Lee Cattermole for the rest of the season.

The Sunderland pair have both played a big part in Bruce’s team this season but will now be added to the club’s growing injury list.

Richardson has suffered a stress fracture to his left leg, while Cattermole will also be absent through a back injury but Bruce is optimistic both players will be ready for next season.

"We hope he [Richardson] is going to be joining in pre-season," he told BBC Sport.

"We X-rayed him after the game against West Brom and then subsequently scanned him two or three days later.”

"The scans and the X-rays revealed nothing at all apart from a badly bruised bone.

"Unfortunately, what the medical people are telling me is that they [stress fractures] can appear within 10 days to three weeks.

"Consequently, we re-scanned him on Thursday when we detected that unfortunately, the boy has got a stress fracture and will miss the rest of the season."

The news means the players will now miss the club’s three remaining Premier League fixtures against Bolton Wanderers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United.

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