Season over for Larsson
Sunderland have confirmed that Seb Larsson will miss the last three games of the season after groin surgery, but he is hopeful for Euro 2012.
Last Updated: 26/04/12 12:38pm
Sunderland have confirmed that Sebastian Larsson and Kieran Richardson will miss the club's last three games of the season having both undergone hernia surgery.
Larsson was granted leave by Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill to undergo a minor operation in Manchester earlier this week.
While that puts him out of Sunderland's end to the season, it gives the Swedish winger time not just to recover in time for this summer's European Championship but to play throughout Sweden's training camp.
"I have had problems with groin pain for a couple of weeks now," Larsson told the club's official website.
"I am extremely grateful to the club supporting me and giving me this opportunity to have the operation immediately.
"This means the conditions to be prepared for Euro 2012 are much better than if I had to wait until the end of the season.
"With this solution, I will have a couple of weeks for rehabilitation and after that hopefully I will be able to practice in full with the Swedish team - under the condition I am selected."
Larsson had offered to postpone surgery until the end of the campaign and play through the pain barrier, but O'Neill was willing to let him go under the knife after a fine first season on Wearside.
The 26-year-old is Sunderland's joint-top scorer with eight goals from 39 games after joining on a free transfer from Birmingham last summer.
"Seb has been complaining of pain for some weeks now - he's really been sore," said O'Neill. "He has got through the games but it's been a bit of a problem for him and he hasn't been able to train properly.
"Seb was going to wait until the end of the season, but then he wouldn't have got anything done with the Euros in mind.
"I thought that he has really put the effort in here and he deserved to try to get himself right for the Euros.
"It [the decision] was really down to myself. Seb was really prepared to play through it but his efforts over the last few months have been fantastic so we will try to do without him for the last few games.
"Having the surgery now gives him the chance to be properly fit for the Euros and then have some sort of summer break before coming back to us fresh and ready for the start of next season."
Richardson will also miss the games against Bolton, Fulham and Manchester United after being diagnosed with a hernia.
The 27-year-old left-back, who has scored three goals in 32 games this season, featured against Wolves recently but missed the trip to Aston Villa.
"Kieran's injury came on a bit more suddenly, only in about the last 10 days," O'Neill added. "He has been diagnosed with a similar injury and has had the operation."