Black Cats boss concerned on-loan Arsenal striker may miss out on the quarter-final against Everton after being taken off on stretcher against Liverpool
O’Neill is unsure whether the on-loan Arsenal striker will be fit to spearhead his attack in the sixth-round tie at Goodison Park next Saturday after he was taken off on a stretcher with a knee problem following his goal in the 1-0 win over Liverpool.
The Dane will have to wait for the results of scans on his twisted knee that are due to take place on Monday before finding out if he will be able to lead the line on Merseyside.
“He has hurt his knee. He has twisted it. But it will be 48 hours before I am able to tell you anything and he is obviously a concern for next week,” O’Neill told reporters at his post-match press conference.
“Nicklas is pretty sore at the moment He has a bit of swelling and we probably won’t scan it until the swelling goes down because that would give us a better picture of things so that probably might be Monday but we are not certain at all.
Bendtner, who now has two goals in two games, will be a free agent this summer but O’Neill has yet to discuss the future with a player who is on a season-long loan from the Emirates.
“We haven’t discussed it at all but I am obviously very pleased with him,” O’Neill added.
“He scored a goal but as I said in an earlier interview that will give him a boost of confidence but then I chided myself because he does not need a boost of confidence.
“I thought he did very well. He has come back and he may still not be properly match-fit having missed a fairly lengthy time out with the eye injury but it was pleasing nevertheless.”
O’Neill, whose side are now in eighth spot just two points behind Liverpool, declared himself delighted with the win over Kenny Dalglish's side.
“It was a game of very few chances but it was a great to get what proved to be the winning goal and do to it with the changes we have had to make and influential players out of the team,” he added.
“I could not really ask for much more. It was a great effort by the team. It was a pretty even game but because we won I think we just edged it at the end. But it was always in the balance.
“Considering the quality of the opposition it was a great win. We had to adjust greatly for the game against Manchester City on New Year’s Day with midfielders playing in full-back roles and stuff like that and today most of the players were in their proper positions which is good news for us but they don’t mind playing out of position for the team and that is encouraging.
“Fraizer Campbell doesn’t mind playing wide right – it is just Nicklas Bendtner always wants to just play centre-forward but not always in the box – but don’t tell him I said that.
“I can’t hid the fact that I am delighted to have beaten Liverpool at any stage is great and to have beaten them today was just excellent for the team.”