NEWCASTLE UNITED midfielder Isaac Hayden is feared to have suffered a season-ending knee injury in last night's 3-0 defeat at Brighton.

Hayden was left in considerable pain after a freak collision with Brighton midfieler Yves Bissouma resulted in his knee appearing to crumple beneath him.

He was treated for around five minutes on the pitch at the Amex Stadium before being lifted onto a stretcher and carried off the field.

He will undergo a series of scans in the next 48 hours, but it is feared he has suffered a serious knee problem that will rule him out of Newcastle's remaining nine matches this season.

Indeed, if Hayden has suffered ligament damage, there is a chance he could not even be available for the start of pre-season training later this summer.

Speaking after the game, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce said: "It's a knee injury. We don't know the severity until obviously he has scans and X-rays, but it doesn't look too good, that's for sure."

The collision between Hayden and Bissouma was completely accidental, and the Newcastle midfielder was quick to absolve his opponent of any blame when he tweeted an update late yesterday evening.

Hayden tweeted: "Gutted all round is an understatement! I will be doing my utmost to recover as quickly as I can from this injury to help the team. Respect to Bissouma for checking on me after the game. Was a complete accident, and (thanks to) Brighton medical staff for their help tonight also."