EDDIE Howe has confirmed Harvey Barnes will be out of action for three months - but the winger won't need surgery on the toe injury he suffered at Sheffield United.

Howe says the setback comes at a "shocking time" for Barnes, who is desperate to impress on Tyneside after his big-money summer move from Leicester City - with the 25-year-old unlikely to play again before Christmas.

Howe says the Barnes setback is a "huge blow" for the Magpies, and it's not the only injury issue for the head coach to deal with.

Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak are both doubts for Saturday's game against Burnley, with Newcastle also set to make a late check on Sven Botman, who missed the Manchester City game with a knee problem.

While those issues are minor problems, Barnes now faces a relatively long road back to full fitness.

Howe said: "We think he’s going to be out for around three months. No surgery required which is good news but his foot is now in a boot. It’s an injury underneath his toe.

"He’s started his recovery. I think he’ll be quite sedate for a period of time, he has to rest the toe, give it every chance to recover and then we’ll have to build him up slowly.

“It's not a fracture. I don't actually know the right term to use, but it is an unusual injury and they're a little bit baffled as to how it's come about and why it's come about.

“Sometimes as much as you try to find a reason, sometimes there is no reason, it's just one of those things that happens.

“I think he knew straight away - you could see him go down on the pitch, it's very unusual to see that. He said he knew straight away that he had a problem.

"It’s come at a shocking time for Harvey because he was just beginning to find his rhythm. He had a good pre-season and was getting to know his teammates and what’s expected here. With so many games coming up, to lose any player is a huge blow for us. We need the strength in depth and everything that Harvey was going to bring us – hopefully goals and making the final difference in the final third. We have to deal with it, accept it and wish him a speedy recovery."


Howe has told Barnes to try and focus on the positives and says the winger will still have a major part to play in the second half of the season.

He said: "He’s a very stable level lad, he’s a great character.  Yes, he’s hugely disappointed and frustrated because he wanted to show everybody what he could do here and wanted to contribute.

"He’s very recently a new dad, which is a great moment in his life. I always say when these things happen you have to try and draw the positives and he’ll have the chance to be with his family maybe a bit more than he would have been.

"Things will settle down and then when he comes back, which will quickly be around the corner, he’ll have a big part to play for the rest of the season."

There was good news on the injury front for Newcastle, with Emil Krafth set to make a major step forward in his recovery from a serious knee injury. He's set to feature for the Under-21s against Nottingham Forest tonight.