Sunderland's Nicklas Bendtner set to return to training with mask

Stadium of Light's Danish striker has visited a specialist to have a protective mask fitted and could return to light training as early as next week

Sunderland’s Nicklas Bendtner looks set to return to training next week after having a protective mask fitted to protect his broken nose.

The striker on loan from Arsenal has not played for two weeks after suffering a broken nose and damaged cheekbone in a clash during Sunderland’s win over Swansea.

The extent of his injury has meant the 24-year-old has been unable to train, but he has now visited a specialist to have a mask fitted, which is similar to the one worn by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

The Black Cats' boss Martin O’Neill is likely to be without the Dane for another fortnight but at least he will have him back on the training field.

O’Neill told The Evening Chronicle: “Nicklas travelled to London on Friday to see the same specialist who treated Simon Mignolet.

“He will be examined and measured for a face mask which we hope will allow him to play in the near future without causing more damage to the affected bones.

“It has been very successful with Simon at a time when we really needed him to play at the turn of the year and he has come through it fine.

“Hopefully, Nicklas will be equally helped by having a strong, protective face mask, which ensures he will be safe from any knocks he might take.

“It is possible he could start running again next week and look to be ready to play in a fortnight.

“However, it is important he takes as long as he needs with an injury like that, so we just wait and see.”

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