Bruce vows to solve mystery of Bent's injuries with England

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The Independent Online

Sunderland striker Darren Bent has spoken of his disappointment at missing out on England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro. The 26-year-old was pencilled in to start the game at Wembley on Tuesday, but instead headed back to Wearside for treatment on a groin injury he picked up in training.

"It was unfortunate for myself. I would have been playing in the week for England, and to get the groin injury was a bit disheartening," Bent said. "When you work hard to get these opportunities and you pick up a minor niggle and it rules you out of a game as important as that, then it is hard to take.

"Hopefully, I can be back against Blackburn [on Monday evening]. I am getting a lot of treatment and still trying to recover from the injury, so it's a bit touch and go. But hopefully, I can be there."

Sunderland said they are to contact the Football Association to see if they can come up with a solution to Bent's England injury problems. Three times in the past few months the forward has withdrawn from Fabio Capello's squad.

While club manager Steve Bruce hopes Bent has simply been unfortunate, the club are planning to discuss the situation with their England counterparts.

Bruce said: "It's quite staggering because I don't think he has missed a day's training here, I don't think he has missed a game since he has been here.

"That is now two or three times he has gone with England – whether it is different techniques or what have you, I am not quite sure. But I know he is hugely disappointed because it could have been his night. They were crying out for a goal, for somebody to do something a bit different. It could have kick-started him in terms of his England career.

"Obviously, we are going to have to speak with the medical people and the doctors with England. It is strange, maybe it [training] is totally alien to what he is doing. I haven't really asked that question, but obviously with the medical people we have, we will do over the next couple of weeks."

Bent underwent a scan on his return and that has shown some damage, although Bruce has not yet ruled his leading scorer out of the game at Ewood Park. He said: "If it was Saturday, I would say no chance; but Monday, maybe."

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