Despite being yet to kick a ball in anger for Sunderland, James McFadden has picked up an injury rendering him useless for a few months. Meanwhile youngster Ryan Noble has returned from Hartlepool United.
After a long and protracted transfer, during which time he was training with the club in order to prove his fitness, James McFadden has quite ironically got himself injured just days after putting pen to paper on a short-term contract.
Manager Martin O'Neill seemed incredibly disappointed with the news, telling ESPN;
I don't know if we will see James in the team any time soon because on Thursday he pulled up with a hamstring. I hope it is not too serious, but he was certainly feeling it. So that is a setback. It is a real shame because James has worked exceptionally hard on his fitness and was enjoying the training.
James has not accepted the length of the contract, but it was as much for him because I think he felt if he had not made an impact by the end of January, particularly with the number of games coming up, then he might need to look elsewhere.
He needs to have a chance and I hope the hamstring is not too serious. You have to remember he did not play often for Everton last season.
If the injury is a serious one, it could well render him one of the most pointless signing's in the club's history. Only on a short-term contract to begin with, his career at the club could end without having to kick a ball as he's not exactly going to be a first team regular from the outset.
In other news coming out the club Ryan Noble has returned from a loan spell at Hartlepool United. The striker's form was patchy at Victoria Park, and with the departure of Neale Cooper as manager the side have decided to send him back to the Academy of Light where he'll no doubt pick up games in the development side while looking for another loan move.
Noble played eight times for 'Pools, scoring one goal (and a beauty it was).