Martin Dubravka issues significant injury update ahead of Newcastle United return
Martin Dubravka will almost certainly miss the start of the new Premier League season.
Dubravka has had surgery after suffering a stress fracture in his foot, and the Newcastle United goalkeeper, recovering in his native Slovakia, doesn’t believe he will be ready for the new campaign.
"I’d love to start the first match of the new season,” Dubravka told sport.sk. “However, this is highly unlikely.”
Dubravka had been looking forward to returning to Tyneside – and again playing at a full St James's Park after a year of behind-closed-doors football – after playing for Slovakia at Euro 2020.
“I was looking forward to the new season, to football, to Newcastle,” said the 32-year-old.
“Unfortunately, I have to wait. It’s all the more regrettable that more spectators can finally return to the stands. When is St James’s Park full, it’s something special. Last year, we only experienced it in the last two matches, and it helped us a lot. I’ll now only be a spectator.”
Dubravka – who missed the start of last season with an injury – had been playing through the pain barrier since his comeback.
"I have been feeling pain in my leg since last December,” said Dubravka. “This was probably due to the fact that last year I had a torn tendon, so I loaded the foot differently.
"I was constantly feeling uncomfortable in my football. The pain escalated, getting more and more intense. In the end, it turned out to be a fatigue fracture, and surgery was necessary.”
Dubravka’s injury saw Freddie Woodman’s proposed loan to Bournemouth put on hold by Steve Bruce, who was unable to field a senior goalkeeper in Sunday’s friendly against York City.
Karl Darlow last week tested positive for Covid-19, and Woodman and Mark Gillespie were told to self-isolate for 10 days.
Asked where Dubravka’s injury left Woodman ahead of the new season, head coach Bruce said: "He (Dubravka) picked up something similar last pre-season, running in the woods. He complained of it during the Championships. We'll see how long he's out, and what we need to do.
“I understand Freddie will be a little bit disappointed at this moment, but I've got to do what's best for Newcastle, and I'll always do that. The club comes first."