Dwight Gayle is facing three months on the sidelines in a devastating blow to Newcastle United ahead of the new season, Football Insider understands.
The north-east giants confirmed yesterday that Gayle, 29, has suffered a knee injury without putting a timeline on how long he will be out.
A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that the striker’s injury is a very significant one and he is not expected to be able to play until December.
He underwent a scan on Tyneside yesterday and his leg is in a support brace following the injury sustained in the 3-0 friendly win over Crewe Alexandra.
It leaves manager Steve Bruce with a major hole up front and only veteran Andy Carroll as a fit and available front man.
Bruce’s problems have been compounded by the absences of Joelinton and Yoshinori Muto from training.
The loss of Gayle is especially devastating for Newcastle as he made a big impact in the final months of last season during the restart.
He banged in four Premier League goals from eight matches and had started to establish himself as the first choice up front.
But Gayle’s up-and-down Newcastle career has now suffered a major setback and his long-term future at the club is under major threat once again.
The spearhead has entered the final year of his contract and turns 30 in October.
He joined Newcastle from Crystal Palace in 2016 and has 33 goals in 93 appearances for the north-east giants but has not been able to match his Championship exploits in the top flight.