NEWCASTLE UNITED are facing a mounting injury crisis with three more players having joined the absentee list in the wake of this evening’s Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Elliot Anderson was not part of the Magpies squad at St James’ Park, having suffered a back injury in training that is likely to keep him on the sidelines for at least a fortnight.

Alexander Isak lasted just 15 minutes against Dortmund before he was forced off with a recurrence of the groin issue that forced him to miss out on international duty with Sweden earlier this month.


And to complete a disappointing night from a Newcastle perspective, Jacob Murphy lasted just six minutes as a second-half substitute before he was helped off in considerable pain after suffering what is feared to be a dislocated shoulder.

“It’s very difficult to tell exactly, because it’s very early days, but Alex looks as though it’s a recurrence of his groin, which he had on international duty,” said Howe, whose side have dropped to third in their Champions League group as a result of their first European defeat of the season.

“Jacob’s looks like potentially a dislocation of his shoulder. On the eye, we’re probably more worried about Jacob’s, but let’s see. With Elliot, it looks like he’s got a back problem and he’s probably going to be missing a couple of weeks.

“It’s looking really stretched for us, and it’s a strange one when you look at some of the injuries. There’s nothing you can do about Jacob’s shoulder injury, and then when you look at Elliot’s injury too, they’re quite difficult injuries to get your head around.

“But they’ve happened, and we have to adjust. That’s all you can do. You can’t sit here and analyse it too much – at this moment, it’s a case of, ‘Right, let’s regroup the players together and get on with it because there’s a massive game at Wolves ahead’.

“We’re still in a good position in the Champions League and we’re in a good position in the Premier League where we’ve made a positive start, and every player in the squad is vitally important. We need to pull together in this moment.”

To further exacerbate Newcastle’s problems, Sandro Tonali’s suspension for gambling offences is expected to be announced in the next couple of days.

Having cooperated with the Italian authorities, Tonali, who was a second-half substitute in the defeat to Borussia Dortmund, is expected to receive a ban of around ten months, which will rule him out of the whole of the remainder of the season.

“I’ve got no update for you (on the ban) I’m afraid because I’ve been concentrating on the game,” said Howe. “I thought Sandro did well when he came on tonight – I thought he played with real quality and energy. I was delighted with his performance.”