Date:Thursday January 12 2006
The Republic of Ireland midfielder has not played for the club since suffering a serious leg fracture at Coventry in December 2003.
After returning to training 9 months later he broke down again, and then needed knee surgery ealier this season. He has chosen to return home to Ireland to consider his options.
His future may yet lie at Sunderland however as he has been offered the chance to come back and work with the medical staff in a bid to prove his fitness.
Boss Mick McCarthy confirmed to the club's official website: 'He can come back here, train, be a part of it and get himself fit. I would welcome him back.
There would be no financial reward for that. It's down to him to come back and get himself fit. It's whether he wants to do it here, or do it somewhere else.'
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