Sunderland will have to do without key defender John O’Shea when they travel to The Madejski Stadium to face Reading on Saturday.

The Black Cats’ Sky Bet Championship status is hanging by a thread and the club could be all but relegated if they lose in Berkshire and other results go against them.

On Tuesday evening, Sunderland could only draw 1-1 with Norwich City at The Stadium of Light in a match which saw club captain O’Shea come off 20 minutes from time with an injury. Manager Chris Coleman has now confirmed that the Republic of Ireland international centre-back is unlikely to make the squad for the trip to Reading with the player battling back and groin problems.

O’Shea has featured heavily for Sunderland this season with the player having made 37 appearances in all competitions for the club. The defender was recently a surprise goalscorer as he netted in a shock 4-1 win over Derby County at Pride Park.

Sunderland signed O’Shea for an undisclosed fee from Manchester United in 2011 and the player has gone on to feature for The Black Cats on over 250 occasions. O’Shea won five English Premier League titles while at Old Trafford while he was a UEFA Champions League winner with United in 2007/2008.

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I am Dan Pentland and I am a York City season ticket holder and volunteer for men's health charity Prostate Cancer UK. In May 2015, I completed my childhood dream of visiting all 92 Football League grounds. Follow me on Twitter @DanPentlandpcuk and Facebook

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