WILL GRIGG has avoided the worst-case scenario of being ruled out for the rest of the season, and should be available by the end of the month.

The Sunderland striker saw a specialist at the start of the month to assess a knee issue that has been troubling him for a number of weeks.

If surgery had been recommended, the Northern Ireland international would have been sidelined for up to nine months, ruling him out of the whole of this season and the next of the following campaign.

However, the current prognosis is that he has only suffered soft-tissue damage, so it is hoped three weeks of rest will enable him to recover full fitness.

“It was good news,” said Lee Johnson. “It was the best-case scenario. Originally, we were told it could three weeks, three months or nine months, depending on what the surgeon said.

“The surgeon came back and said he believes that, at this stage, a rest period will really be beneficial and he will be back in that three-week spell rather than anything else.”

Grigg will not be involved in this evening’s game with Hull City, a match that was hastily organised in the middle of the week after both clubs agreed to give up their free weekend.

“Up until Tuesday afternoon, we weren’t fully sure whether we would be preparing for a game, and which game we would be preparing for,” said Johnson, who expects to have Luke O'Nien and Denver Hume both back in full training in the next fortnight. “We made an educated guess that the Hull game might be going ahead though, so the players have prepared for it.

“It’s unchartered territory at the moment, and we’re all learning about things. I think the clubs and individuals – both players and coaching staff – who can solve the problems they’re presented with and find solutions as quickly as possible will be the ones with a competitive edge.

"At one point or another, most clubs are going to be affected by all this somehow."