Sunderland winger and U.S. international Lynden Gooch may be sidelined for up to three months following a severe ankle injury, Sunderland manager David Moyes told media Friday.
Gooch was injured in the first half of Sunderland’s U-23 match Monday, having to be stretchered off the field. He underwent an X-ray Tuesday, and Moyes confirmed that Gooch will be seeing a specialist to determine whether surgery is necessary.
MOYES: "Looks like @lyndengooch46 has damaged a ligament in his ankle. Seeing specialist today and then will have a clearer outcome."— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) December 2, 2016
“He’s away to see the specialist today, and then we will find out whether or not he will need an operation,” Moyes told The Chronicle. “But he will probably be out for somewhere between eight and 12 weeks, depending on exactly what the surgeon says.”
Moyes also praised Gooch’s character and his resiliency to fight through a recent dip in form before the injury.
“It’s a terrible blow for Lynden. We really like him, he’s infectious, and he’s a good character,” Moyes said. “I spoke to him a few weeks ago and said I thought his levels had just dipped a little, but that would be normal for a young player when you think of the games we asked him to play in and the position the team had been in. But in the last week or so he had started to look fresher in training and the injury is a real blow for him, and for us.”
The 20-year-old Gooch broke through into the Sunderland first team this season after spending parts of the past two campaigns on loan. He has played in nine Premier League games this season, making four starts. His last appearance came as a substitute in Sunderland’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool on Nov. 26.
The winger also made his first U.S. national team appearances in 2016, and was cap-tied when he came on as a substitute in the team's 4-0 loss at Costa Rica in November.
Gooch took to Twitter to thank fans for their messages of support and promised to return “stronger and better than before.”
Gutted to have ankle ligament damage but I'll be back stronger and better than before, thanks for all the messages over the past few days pic.twitter.com/2FAJrqhQQK— Lynden Gooch (@lyndengooch46) December 2, 2016