Newcastle hit by injury to key star ahead of Brighton clash

Ciaran Clark is a doubt for Newcastle’s Premier League clash with Brighton on Saturday after picking up an injury on international duty, the club has announced.

The 29-year-old defender suffered a thigh problem in training ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s Nations League showdown with Wales on Tuesday night and will be assessed on his return to Tyneside.

A statement issued via the Newcastle’s official website said: “The club has been informed by the Football Association of Ireland that Ciaran Clark will not be fit for his country’s UEFA Nations League game against Wales on Tuesday evening.

“The Newcastle defender suffered a thigh injury during training ahead of the match. He will be assessed further on his return to Newcastle later this week.”

Clark was an unused substitute for his country’s 0-0 draw with Denmark at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

He has started five of the Magpies’ eight league games to date this season, but was named only among the substitutes for the 3-2 defeat at Manchester United in their last outing.