Martin O’Neill has revealed Rob Elliot has suffered a ‘serious knee injury’ whilst on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
The Newcastle goalkeeper was withdrawn early in the 2-2 draw with Slovakia on Tuesday evening, as he suffered a knock whilst attempting to deal with Miroslav Stoch’s opening goal.
West Ham stopper Darren Randolph replaced the 29-year-old, and in the immediate aftermath of the game, O’Neill has revealed that Elliot has been struck down by a serious injury.
The manager said: “He’s not great. He’s got a serious knee injury. It’s a real disappointment and obviously a dampener on the evening, particularly when he is getting his career together.”
Elliot has established himself as Newcastle’s first-choice goalkeeper this season due to the injury to Tim Krul, and it appeared as if he was realistically competing with Randolph for the starting role with Ireland.
There are no confirmations as to how long Elliot will be out of action for, and O’Neill admitted that he cannot yet reveal whether the keeper will be back before the end of the season.
“It might be too early for me to be making those assumptions,” O’Neill added.
Losing Elliot for an extended period of time deals a major blow to Newcastle’s survival hopes, as Rafa Benitez is already without experienced Dutchman Krul.
Should the Irish international spend the rest of the campaign on the touchline, the Spanish boss will likely have to call upon Karl Darlow – who has not impressed for the Magpies this season.