By Danny Wright
Newcastle player Rob Elliot is out of the Republic of Ireland’s friendly clash with Mexico on Friday.
Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has confirmed that the 31-year-old has suffered a setback in his bid to fully recover from a serious knee injury he picked up in 2016.
Elliot only returned to the Newcastle first-team in April and it seems he has aggravated a cruciate ligament injury that kept him sidelined for over a year.
Such serious injuries usually take a long time to recover from and although he has been playing for the Magpies, the long-term effects of such a setback can be lasting.
In what is surely a blow to the goalkeeper and his nation, he has not travelled to the USA for the international clash with Mexico.
West Ham’s Darren Randolph and Sheffield Wednesday’s Kieren Westwood will travel across the Atlantic instead.
“Robbie Elliot played the last couple of games for Newcastle, but is still feeling the injury,” said O’Neill, as quoted by the Shields Gazette.
“We’ll assess that during the next couple of days, so we’ll just have the two goalkeepers coming with us.”
Elliot is set for a big fight for the No 1 spot in Rafa Benitez’s plans next season as the Magpies return to Premier League football following their dramatic Championship title win in early May.
The ‘keeper played a big role in helping Newcastle beat Brighton to the silverware by keeping two clean sheets in the last three matches of the campaign.
His inclusion over Karl Darlow against Preston in April surprised many after he had spent a lot of the season either on the bench or recovering to match fitness following his serious knee injury.
In other Newcastle news, the Magpies are lining up a pre-season friendly clash with this Serie A side.