Newcastle's Rob Elliot reveals heartache after season-ending knee injury
Gutted Newcastle United stopper Rob Elliot has spoken of his heartache after suffering a season-ending knee injury.
The 29-year-old will miss Newcastle 's Premier League run-in as they battle the drop and will also miss the European Championships in France this summer after injuring his cruciate ligament while away with the Republic of Ireland.
It is a devastating blow to Rafa Benitez with Elliot one of the stand-out performers this season.
Elliot has thanked fans for their messages of support and backed Karl Darlow to shine, with Tim Krul also out for the season with the same injury.
"The warm wishes I have seen from fans, players and people involved in the game mean the world to me and it's nice to know that there are so many good people wishing me well at such a dark time," revealed Elliot in an email to supporters.
"Sustaining the injury happened in a split second. The ball was played across the goal and I moved across to get in line. I dived after the ball as I would do in any training session or any game, but I felt pain straight away. Watching it back, I grabbed my knee before I'd even landed.
"When I found out it was my cruciate ligament, that's when the tears came. There was a wave of emotion knowing I'd miss the rest of the season with Newcastle and the Euros with Ireland.
"But you have to let that come, get past it and then look to be positive."
Elliot revealed that he will speak to former team-mates like Ryan Taylor and Dan Gosling, who have both overcome similar injuries, as well as Krul.
He added: "When I was initially thrown in, people were unsure.
"But you, our fans, supported me and had faith in me. I remember when I walked out for the Norwich game and the whole Gallowgate stood and applauded me.
"I hadn't done anything at that point but you were right behind me and it gave me the confidence I needed going into that game.
"That triggered it. When you have the backing of the whole city, it lifts you and you take that confidence into every game. You feel part of it and I want to thank our fans for that.
"Karl Darlow will now get that opportunity and I know you will show him the support that you've given me. He's a great guy, he gets what Newcastle is all about and he works hard every day to get an opportunity like this. He deserves that roar from our fans like I had.
"I messaged him as soon as I knew about my injury because I wanted him to know and to be ready. I know how good a goalkeeper he is already and how good he is going to be.
"I wish Karl and the boys the best in carrying us forward and getting us out of the relegation fight.
"Alongside you, I'll be right behind them."