Martin Dubravka OUT of Newcastle United's opening Premier League fixtures

Martin Dubravka will miss the start of the new Premier League season.
Martin Dubravka.Martin Dubravka.
Martin Dubravka.

The goalkeeper will be out for “several weeks” with a heel injury, according to the club.

A club statement read: “Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will miss the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season after suffering a heel injury.

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"The 31-year-old is likely to be sidelined for several weeks, meaning he will also miss Slovakia's UEFA Nations League fixtures against Czech Republic and Israel next month.”

Dubravka, the club’s player of the season for 2019/20, didn’t feature in Tuesday’s 3-0 friendly win over League One side Crewe Alexandra in York. Head coach Steve Bruce instead used Karl Darlow and summer signing Mark Gillespie in the behind-closed-doors game.

Slovakia coach Pavel Hapal had claimed that Dubravka was facing “six to eight” weeks on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage after he left him out of his latest squad.

Dubravka has been an ever-present for Newcastle in the Premier League since making his debut in February 2018.

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Meanwhile, Dwight Gayle was forced off against Crewe with a knee injury. Gayle’s injury – and Joelinton’s absence from training – has left Andy Carroll as Bruce’s only available striker ahead of Saturday’s behind-closed-doors friendly against Barnsley.

Gayle – who had hit form late last season – is reportedly facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, and the injury has added urgency to the club’s efforts in the transfer market.