Newcastle United’s season could have taken a turn for the worse after goalkeeper Rob Elliot was stretchered off playing for Republic of Ireland tonight.
The shot-stopper was handed a rare start by Ireland boss Martin O’Neill against Slovakia as he looked to stake his claim for a place in their Euro 16 squad.
But the 29-year-old appeared to land awkwardly after Miroslav Stoch gave Slovakia the lead, with a twisted right knee causing him pain.
Elliot left the field on the stretcher, giving Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez a huge selection problem ahead of the crunch relegation clash against Norwich City on Saturday.
He may have to call upon back-up Karl Darlow, whose only previous Premier League start came at West Brom at Christmas, where he let in a soft winner.
Benitez’s only other option would be youngster Feddie Woodman, who shone for England U19s earlier today.
Newcastle No1 Tim Krul was ruled out for the season with his own knee injury, damaging his cruciate ligaments on international duty with Holland back in October.