By Coral Barry

Rob Elliot will undergo knee surgery and be sidelined for at least six months, according to a report.

The Newcastle stopper was stretched off during the Republic of Ireland’s 2-2 draw with Slovakia on Tuesday night and Elliot is now set for a lengthy period on the sidelines.

Martin O’Neill confirmed after the game that Elliot’s injury was “serious” and, a report by Sky Sports News on Wednesday morning has claimed initial scans have revealed the goalkeeper has severely damaged his cruciate ligament.

That type of injury typically requires at least six months of rehabilitation and Elliot is now the second Newcastle goalkeeper to damage his cruciate this season.

First-choice stopper Tim Krul had his season ended by a similar injury while on international duty with Holland in October.

Elliot had deputised impressively for Krul and had put himself in contention to dislodge Darren Randolph from Ireland’s starting eleven in the European Championships in the summer.

The 29-year-old’s resurgence as a first-team player has now been halted in its tracks and he will miss the final eight league games of the season as Newcastle battle to maintain their top-flight status.

Karl Darlow

Step up: Darlow has managed just one league appearance this season

That fight begins on Saturday with a visit to fellow relegation-battlers Norwich.

Elliot’s absence means the inexperienced Karl Darlow will most likely step into his boots after making just two senior appearances for the Magpies since his 2014 move from Nottingham Forest.

Darlow’s only league appearance this season came against West Brom where he made a costly error late in the game to allowed Darren Fletcher to head home a winner.

Sky Sports News report that Newcastle’s club doctor Paul Catterson and his medical staff are set to carry out more MRI scans on Elliot when he arrives back at the club on Wednesday.

Fred Woodman, 19, is also available for selection against Norwich and it means that Newcastle will be unable to approach the Premier League about an emergency loan with two stoppers fit.

In other Newcastle news, the club has been hit by an injury crisis in two crucial positions.