Martin O’Neill has revealed Rob Elliot suffered a “serious knee injury” which could end both his Euro 2016 dream and his hopes of helping to keep Newcastle in the Barclays Premier League.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper was hurt as he tried to keep out Miroslav Stoch’s opener in the Republic of Ireland’s 2-2 draw with Slovakia, and now both club and country will anxiously await news of the extent of the problem.
However, Republic boss O’Neill was downcast as he revealed the early signs were not promising, with the indications that Elliot has suffered ligament damage.
He said: “He’s not great. He’s got a serious knee injury. It’s a real disappointment and obviously a dampener on the evening, particularly when he is getting his career together.
“He was going really well at Newcastle and looking forward to the game and coming here into the squad with a lot of confidence.
“I have just spoken to the doctor and he’s not happy.”
Asked if Elliot’s season could be over, O’Neill added: “It might be too early for me to be making those assumptions. I was asking the doctor before I came out.
“I hope to see Rob – I think he’s coming back to the hotel later on – but I don’t think it’s good.”
Magpies boss RafaBenitez will anxiously await news from the Ireland camp ahead of Saturday’s crucial trip to fellow relegation candidates Norwich with first-choice keeper Tim Krul already out for the season with a knee ligament injury.
In Elliot’s absence, the Republic rallied to take the lead through two penalties in as many minutes, the first converted by Shane Long and the second by former Sunderland winger James McClean.
However, Paul McShane’s unfortunate own goal on the stroke of half-time ensured both sides left the Aviva Stadium with something to show for their efforts.