Bruce hopeful over Gordon injury

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is hopeful Craig Gordon will be able to avoid an operation on his injured knee.

Gordon flew to Sweden on Monday to consult specialist Professor Hakan Alfredson over the problem which has restricted him in recent weeks.

Bruce revealed that Gordon has been given an exercise programme to help strengthen his knee before his progress is assessed again in a month’s time.

Bruce told the club’s official website: "He’s been given a course of exercises and we’ll see how the injury responds to that.

"Hopefully he will be okay then and he will avoid the surgery which we all fear. It’s a big period for Craig and I wish him the best of luck."

Gordon, a £9million signing from Hearts, has been an unused substitute for the club’s last two games with Simon Mignolet taking his place after the pain in his knee became an issue.

He withdrew from international duty last month with the injury, and Bruce has admitted he has not been 100% fit since.