NEWCASTLE UNITED have suffered a double injury blow ahead of tomorrow’s game at Watford – with Joe Willock and Jamaal Lascelles both having been ruled out of the trip to Vicarage Road.

Willock suffered a foot injury in training at the start of the week and has had to wear a protective boot to prevent further damage.

Lascelles suffered a muscular injury in the closing stages of last week’s draw with Leeds United, and while he tried to return to training yesterday, the skipper continues to struggle.

The pair will not be part of the squad that heads to Watford tomorrow, and are already major doubts for the following weekend’s trip to Wolves.

“We’ve got a couple of problems,” said Newcastle boss Steve Bruce. “Joe picked up a problem in training this week unfortunately, and Jamaal hurt his thigh.

“Unfortunately, they go onto the injured list, which makes that about five or six of our first team we’ve got out. It’s not that healthy, I have to say.

“We’re disappointed. Joe’s was a complete fluke – he kicked the ground and damaged the capsule in his toe. He’ll not make this week, and it’s probably touch and go whether he’ll make next week as well.

“It’s a muscle with Jamaal. It happened late on in the game (against Leeds). He tried yesterday, but it was no good, so I would think it’ll be another couple of weeks for him with a muscle strain.”

With Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey also set to miss the next two matches, and first-choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka only just returning to light training after undergoing foot surgery in the summer, Newcastle have suffered an injury-ravaged start to the campaign.

Last season, Bruce spoke about launching an investigation into the number of injuries his side was sustaining, and while he accepts some of the latest problems have been completely unavoidable, he is going to have another look at why the Magpies seem to suffer more than fair share of setbacks.

“When you’ve got a squad of 25 players and six of them are injured, it’s not that great, is it,” said Bruce. “It’s how we adapt to it and get on with it now.

“It’s frustrating. Joe kicked the ground – if he tried to do it again, he wouldn’t be able to, I wouldn’t have thought. That’s one of those freak ones. Jamaal hurt his thigh during the game against Leeds.

“Unfortunately, we seem to pick up more than most, which is a frustration. We’ll look into it, that’s for sure.”