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The Scotland international, who topscored for the club last year, is extremely unlikely to feature again this term, with the Black Cats forced to fight for survival without him

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has revealed that striker Steven Fletcher is unlikely to feature again this season due to injury.

The Scotland international has been plagued by fitness issues for much of the campaign, scoring just three goals in 13 Premier League starts due to a string of injuries.

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The former Wolves man has missed the last four games with damaged ankle ligaments, and Poyet conceded that the 27-year-old is unlikely to return before the end of the campaign.

"I don't think Steven Fletcher's going to be available this season," the Uruguayan said. "We'd hoped he might be able to make the last few games but I'm changing my opinion on that now."

Sunderland approach Saturday's visit of Everton bottom of the Premier League, seven points adrift of safety with as many matches left to play, but Poyet, despite claiming his side needed a "miracle" after losing to Tottenham, insists he will not give up hope of survival.

"I am still here until the last minute believing it is going to be a possibility," he added.

"It is a big challenge, it is really, really difficult - people were saying even impossible - so we will see."