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Blister is sore point for striker Kyle.

Kevin Kyle hopes to be in Cardiff again on Saturday after being forced back to the north east - by a blister!

Striker Kyle was forced out of the Scotland squad for last night's soccer friendly at the Millennium Stadium, but is hoping to be fit for Sunderland's First Division clash with Cardiff City at Ninian Park on Saturday.

He suffered the injury last week, but was able to battle through the Black Cats' FA Cup fifth round clash with Birmingham City, scoring an equaliser to take the tie to a replay.

Now he's rated doubtful for the match at Cardiff City and the 22-year-old said: 'I got a blister on my foot in training before the Birmingham game. I came through that OK, but it became infected.

'I travelled to Cardiff with Scotland and tried to train, but it was too sore to continue. The Scotland physio had a look at it and told me that I wouldn't be right for the game, which is a blow. It's one I really wanted to play in. He said the best thing to do was to go back to Sunderland for treatment.'

Sunderland's involvement in the FA Cup has seen them fall behind the automatic promotion challengers and drop out of the play-off positions, though only on goal difference.

Kyle said: 'I don't know whether I'll be fit for the Cardiff game, but I'm hoping so. The blister is drying up so it could be OK, but I'll just have to wait and see. I've never had an injury like this before and it's sore. It was caused by an insole in my boot which had a sharp edge.'

If Kyle is missing at Ninian Park then Tommy Smith could return or Darren Byfield may make his full debut.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 19, 2004
Words:297
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