Defoe ruled out for Sunderland's trip to Arsenal
LONDON: Sunderland will be without Jermain Defoe for Saturday's Premier League trip to Arsenal but the striker is not as badly injured as first feared, manager Sam Allardyce said.
Defoe, Sunderland's top scorer with four Premier League goals this season, injured a hamstring in the 2-0 win over Stoke City last weekend that helped Allardyce's team climb out of the relegation zone into 17th place.
"Jermain's recovering particularly well. It seems that he has a good recovery time from this type of injury... so it doesn't look as serious as first thought," Allardyce said at his pre-match news conference on Thursday.
"It looks like, the way he's progressing he will be okay for next weekend (against Watford)."
Midfielder Sebastian Larsson is also unavailable for the game against fourth-placed Arsenal and has flown to Barcelona for treatment on an injury to his medial ligaments, Allardyce said.