By Harry Sykes
Dwight Gayle is set to be sidelined for a month in a major blow to Newcastle’s promotion bid, according to a reliable journalist.
Chronicle senior editor Mark Douglas took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to report the latest on the hamstring problem sustained by Gayle in the Magpies’ 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Monday night.
Douglas, who is the Newcastle editor for the Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun, reported on his personal Twitter account that Gayle is “probably out for a month”.
— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) February 21, 2017
This would rule the striker out of possibly five league fixtures, including home fixtures against Bristol City and Fulham, and key away trips to promotion rivals Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading.
There has been no official update from Newcastle after manager Rafael Benitez revealed in the aftermath of the win against Villa that Gayle had suffered a recurrence of the hamstring injury that recently sidelined him for a month.
It appears the Championship’s leading scorer could now be out for a similar length of time in what could be a possible gamechanger in the race for automatic promotion.
Gayle has scored 20 of Newcastle’s 62 league goals this season and is the top marksman in the second tier, with one goal more than Leeds’ Chris Wood, despite his recent injury troubles.
The striker was named in the starting XI on Monday night for the first time in over a month but lasted just 33 minutes of the fixture before hobbling off with another hamstring problem.
Speaking in the immediate aftermath of the match, Magpies manager Benitez admitted Gayle could be facing another extended spell on the sidelines.
Asked by Sky Sports 1 if it could be the same hamstring injury as before, Benitez said: “We think it could be the same, we’ll have to check and now could be too soon to say anything, but we think it could be the same.”
Gayle first broke down on 14 January with a hamstring problem sustained in Newcastle’s 2-1 win at Brentford.
He returned as a second-half substitute in last Tuesday’s 2-2 draw against Norwich before being named in the line-up against Villa.
Gayle was replaced by Aleksandar Mitrovic against Villa, and the Serbian could once again take over in the league encounters over the next month.
In other Newcastle news, fans have taken to Twitter to react to Henri Lansbury’s display against Villa.