Newcastle have been dealt a huge injury blow with goalkeeper Martin Dubravka set to miss the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
The Slovakian shot-stopper has proved an invaluable asset to the Magpies since his £3.5m arrival from Sparta Prague in 2018, ending last season with the most saves in the Premier League (134) and the club's Player of the Year award.
However, it appears Newcastle will have to make do without Dubravka for the start of the upcoming season.
The Chronicle reports the 31-year-old has been withdrawn from the Slovakia squad for September's Nations League fixtures against the Czech Republic and Israel, citing ankle ligament damage as the problem.
Slovakia boss Pavel Hapel confirmed Dubravka's injury woes: "He has problems with his ankle, he dropped out for six to eight weeks.
"I believe that he will be fine for the next matches [October clashes against Ireland and Scotland]," he added.
Therefore, it's likely that the Slovakian international will miss Newcastle's opening Premier League fixtures against West Ham, Brighton and Tottenham in September, with hope that he can return for the Magpies' first clash in October against Burnley.
It's understood the 31-year-old picked up the injury in pre-season training and he didn't play in Newcastle's 3-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday.
The unprecedented three-month hiatus earlier this year meant Dubravka had enough time to recover from a knee injury sustained pre-lockdown to round off what was an impressive individual campaign once the Premier League resumed in June.
However, it appears his luck on the injury front has dried up.
Newcastle's first game of the season at West Ham is just over two weeks away, where Karl Darlow will likely find himself between the sticks with new arrival Mark Gillespie serving as his number two.
Unfortunately, the club can't recall Freddie Woodman from his loan at Swansea City.
Source : 90min