NEWCASTLE UNITED have confirmed that Isaac Hayden will miss the remainder of the season with the knee injury he sustained in last weekend’s 3-0 defeat at Brighton.

Hayden was stretchered off in the first half of Newcastle’s defeat at the Amex Stadium after an accidental collision with Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma left him in considerable pain.

His knee appeared to collapse beneath him as Bissouma fell into his path, and scans have subsequently revealed significant damage.

Newcastle’s medical staff do not expect Hayden to be available for the remaining nine games of the season, with his absence representing a significant blow to Steve Bruce’s hopes of keeping the Magpies in the Premier League.

However, Newcastle’s medical team are not recommending surgery, with a period of rest and rehabilitation expected to be sufficient to engineer a full recovery.

As a result, the midfielder should be able to join in with pre-season training later this summer and be available for the start of next season in August.

A Newcastle statement said: “Isaac Hayden will miss the rest of the 2020/21 season with a significant knee injury but will not require surgery following further assessment.

“The Magpies midfielder was stretchered off in the first half of Newcastle United's defeat at Brighton on Saturday evening and scans have now determined the extent of the injury.

“He will not require an operation and will begin a rehabilitation programme with the club's medical team to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Bruce has been criticised for reportedly allowing his players to have six days off during the international break despite last weekend’s abject display at the Amex.

Newcastle’s non-international players were off on Monday and Sunday, and it has also been suggested in a national newspaper that they will also be absent from the club’s Darsley Park training ground from this Friday to next Monday.