Kevin Phillips claimed Bailey Wright’s injury is a “big blow” for Sunderland as he wished the defender a speedy recovery.
The Stadium of Light legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent, believed the injury to the 27-year-old could be as costly as “Mings at Aston Villa or Son at Spurs”.
Wright was replaced by Alim Ozturk after limping off in the 84th minute of the Black Cats’ 1-0 victory at Oxford United on Saturday, manager Phil Parkinson confirming he is set to sit out for between two to three months.
The centre-half joined Phil Parkinson’s side on loan until the end of the season from Championship promotion hopefuls Bristol City in January.
When asked for how significant the injury could be for Sunderland’s promotion push, Phillips told Football Insider: “A big blow. I thought he was awesome on Saturday. Afterwards, Phil was concerned but Ozturk can step in.
“The biggest thing for me, behind the turnaround, is that Phil has stuck with the same team now for this period when they have been successful. Very rarely has he changed it.
“There is always going to be times where you are forced to make a change but when you lose an influential player like Bailey or Mings at Aston Villa or Son at Spurs – it can affect you. It is going to be interesting to see how Sunderland will play without him in the squad.”
The arrival of the defender has coincided with a remarkable run of seven clean sheets in the last eight games.
Parkinson will be hoping his side can continue their push for the automatic promotion spots when they take on Bristol Rovers at the Stadium of Light this Saturday.
In other Sunderland news, Kevin Phillips told Football Insider the details of his conversation with Parkinson post-Oxford.