Miguel Almiron’s season is almost certainly over.
The Newcastle United midfielder left the pitch in tears during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Southampton.
Almiron went down with a hamstring injury after being fouled by Oriol Romeu at St James’s Park.
The January signing had been superb in the first half, when Ayoze netted the first two goals of his hat-trick.
James Ward-Prowse was fortunate to stay on the field after blocking Almiron.
Rafa Benitez, United’s manager, doesn’t expect him to play again this season.
“The way he (Almiron) was on the pitch, it seems he thinks that (his season is over),” said Benitez.
Almiron’s arrival from Atlanta United in a club-record deal lifted the club, and the 25-year-old has been a pivotal figure over the past two months.
“He was massive for us from day one,” said Benitez. “He was giving everybody a lift with his pace and work-rate, and his assists.
“I think he made a mistake with the chance he had, because he had two options, but everyone was saying shoot because they want him to score a goal.
“There was a chance to play wide, but he has ben really important for us. He has been a good addition, and I’m really pleased for him.
“Everybody will need a rest soon, but hopefully he will be fine. Hopefully, it will not be too serious, and he will be ready for next season.”
Defender Fabian Schar and midfielder Isaac Hayden were also forced off with minor injuries.
“We will have to speak with the doctor and see how he (Almiron) reacts,” said Benitez. “It’s the same with Schar and Hayden. Schar was complaining (on Friday), and we saw him in the first half.
“We weren’t very keen to do any substitutions at the start of the second half, because we knew we had one or two little problems.
“In the end it was like that. It is bad for them, but we have other players and maybe they will get a chance to do their best now.”