NEWCASTLE United could attempt to sign a goalkeeper on an emergency loan – after Rob Elliot joined Tim Krul on the sidelines.
Elliot suffered a thigh injury in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Premier League leaders Chelsea at St James’s Park.
And 21-year-old Jak Alnwick came off the bench for the second half.
United manager Alan Pardew revealed after the game that Alnwick would be in goal for Saturday’s game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
However, if a scan on Elliot’s thigh reveals significant damage, the club could ask the Premier League if it could take a goalkeeper on an emergency loan – or sign a free agent.
Manchester City signed Marton Fulop on a temporary deal from Sunderland in similar circumstances four and a half years ago.
League regulations allow such a move outside the transfer window in “exceptional circumstances”.
“I’ll have a scan on Monday and hope for the best,” Elliot told the Gazette. “Fingers crossed I won’t be out for too long.
“But with Jak’s performance, I might not need to rush back!”
Elliot had strained his thigh before No1 goalkeeper Tim Krul suffered an ankle problem last month, and he had to play through the pain.
Krul isn’t expected to be fit until the middle of next month.
“I had a grade one thigh strain,” said Elliot. “I had it just before Tim before injured.
“Unfortunately, Tim got injured and I had to play with a thigh strain. It was only a matter of time before it went. It’s one of those things unfortunately.
“But it was a fantastic result for us – it just shows the strength in depth we’ve got.”
Hexham-born Alnwick handled a series of testing balls into the box – and also tipped a shot from Diego Costa over the bar.
Elliot wasn’t surprised at the performance of Alnwick on his Newcastle debut.
“I’m so proud of Jack,” said Elliot. “He’s worked so hard in the background, and he hasn’t had a chance to play.
“That 45 minutes showed everything he’s been doing.
“He’s a great young lad and has got fantastic talent. I’m really pleased he’s produced what he’s produced.
“He’s a good lad and deserves all the credit.”