Newcastle have been dealt a blow with the news that first-choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will be sidelined until at least the end of March with a knee injury.
Dubravka, who has been an ever-present in the Premier League since making his debut for the club against Manchester United in February 2018, kept his ninth clean sheet of the season in the 1-0 win at Southampton last Saturday.
The Slovakia international played on following a rough challenge from Southampton striker Danny Ings in the second half but was seen boarding the team bus afterwards on crutches.
Newcastle hoped Dubravka would be able to shake off the complaint and take his place in goal for the visit of Sheffield United this weekend.
However, the club revealed the 31-year-old will definitely miss the Blades clash as well as the FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester City on March 21.
The club said in a brief statement: “Newcastle United can confirm that goalkeeper Martin Dubravka suffered a knee injury in Saturday’s Premier League win at Southampton.
“The Slovakia international was hurt just before the hour mark at St Mary’s but played on, keeping his ninth clean sheet of the season as Steve Bruce‘s side gained three valuable points.
“He was then assessed on Monday and has now been ruled out for at least the rest of this month.”
Karl Darlow is set to deputise for Dubravka. Darlow has made five appearances in cup competitions this season but is set for his first league outing in more than a year on Saturday afternoon.
Any injury or suspension to Darlow would see Newcastle look to Rob Elliot, the Republic of Ireland international who has not made a senior appearance for club or country since December 2017.