STEVE BRUCE will launch an investigation into Newcastle United’s injury record after confirming he will be without up to eight senior players for Monday’s penultimate game of the season at Brighton.

The Magpies’ injury problems worsened again on Wednesday when Fabian Schar dislocated his shoulder in the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham.

Schar is expected to require an operation that could keep him out of the start of next season, and skipper Jamaal Lascelles is also facing a battle to be ready for pre-season after suffering a serious ankle injury.

Allan Saint-Maximin is a doubt for Monday’s trip to the Amex Stadium after he also picked up a knock against Spurs, and while some of Newcastle’s injuries have been unavoidable, the fact they have kept recurring throughout the season is concerning Bruce.

“We’re without seven, possibly eight,” said the Newcastle boss. “Five of them are centre-backs, which is just ridiculous. It a big frustration of ours.

“Most people accept you’ll have one or two out, but seven or eight is a huge number, especially when so many are centre-backs. We knew there were going to be difficulties ahead, but not to this severity for sure. I remember at the Leicester game, we got three in half-an-hour.

“When something happens like happens to Fab Schar there’s nothing you can do about it. He’s gone over on his shoulder and unfortunately dislocated the thing. Jamaal Lascelles has a floating bone in his ankle, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett are straight impact ones. There’s nothing you can do about them.

“We’ve had our fair share, probably too many, so we will look and I will look and ask the question to see if there’s anything we can to do to improve.

“Over the season we have had far too many, and when we’re playing Wednesday-Saturday over the course of the season, we can’t seem to cope. We’ll have to have a look and see what we can do to improve.”

With so many of Newcastle’s current injury issues being focused on defence, Bruce has applied for special dispensation to add Kelland Watts to the squad for the final two matches against Brighton and Newcastle.

The Alnwick-born 20-year-old is an England Under-19 international, but has already played for two clubs this season having had loan spells at Stevenage and Mansfield.

“We’ve applied to see if young Kell Watts will be available because he’s been on loan a couple of times,” said Bruce. “Hopefully, they’ll come back and say he’s available, we’ll have to see.”