New setback for Elliott
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sunderland striker Stephen Elliott will miss the club's Christmas campaign.Sunderland striker Stephen Elliott will miss the club's Christmas campaign and may not return until well into the New Year.
Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy was hoping to have Elliott available for the hectic festive period as he looks to keep the club in The Premiership.
But Elliott, who has not played since early November with a stress fracture of the spine, now faces a longer period on the sidelines.
McCarthy is determined not to risk Elliott's long-term future and feels a patient approach is the best way forward.
"Elliott's got a problem with his spine which we're exploring, but there's no magic remedy," said McCarthy.
"As a kid he missed seven months with the same thing, so we're making sure it's not going to recur."
Meanwhile, McCarthy has questioned the wisdom of signing foreign players once the January transfer window opens.
With The Black Cats adrift at the bottom of the Premiership table, McCarthy is only looking to sign players who are willing to battle.
He added: "If they're not up for the scrap then **** them, don't come. I can't put it any other way, excuse my French.
"I've got lads here scrapping, kicking and fighting every week. I'm not going to replace them with some fancy-dan tart."