Fresh double blow as star ruled out of Leeds United v Newcastle United and winger's season over
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Midfielder Sean Longstaff has started 27 of Newcastle's Premier League games this term but the 25-year-old Geordie suffered a knock in the 4-1 win at Everton at the end of last month and has since missed his side's last two games.
Speaking after Sunday's 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal, Magpies boss Eddie Howe revealed that Newcastle initially thought the injury was just a bruise but that Longstaff would now see a specialist this week for further investigation.
The Magpies face relegation-battling Leeds at Elland Road in a 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday, ahead of which Howe held his pre-match press conference on Friday and provided an update on Longstaff as well as revealing a new blow for winger Matt Ritchie. Ritchie, who has played just 32 minutes of Premier League football this season, has suffered a knee injury and is now out for the remainder of the campain.
Asked about Longstaff, Howe said: “He’s being re-scanned today which we hope will show an improvement. It’s slightly unclear when he’ll be back but it’s not a long-term issue. It’s just whether we can get him back before the end of the season. It’s slightly unknown with Sean. We could see him as early as next week if he improves really quickly, or we might not see him at all.
“Thankfully, there is no serious issue with his injury, it’s just time to let the ligament heal. He’s OK, he’s a positive guy and always has a positive outlook. He went to see a specialist as there were a few concerns that maybe he’d suffered some sort of structural damage in his foot but there wasn’t, which was good news, but there is a bit of damage to one of the ligaments.
Howe's side will definitely be without centre-back Jamaal Lascelles this week as the defender is facing five or six weeks out with a calf injury. Right back Emil Krafth is also out as he continues his recovery from an ACL injury.