NEWCASTLE UNITED have been rocked by yet another long-term injury issue, with Dan Burn facing "a couple of months” on the sidelines after damaging his back in Saturday’s win over Arsenal.

Burn was forced off at the half-time interval at St James’ Park at the weekend, and has not travelled to Germany with the rest of the Magpies’ squad ahead of tomorrow night’s Champions League game with Borussia Dortmund.

The defender fell awkwardly after challenging for a header, and subsequent scans have revealed a significant issue at the base of his spine.

As a result, Eddie Howe expects him to be unavailable for the “long term”, with fellow left-back Matt Targett also facing a three-month injury lay-off after suffering a hamstring injury of his own.

“Unfortunately, Dan is going to be out for some time I think,” said the Newcastle boss. “It’s a long-term problem – a couple of months is probably the speculative number. He landed on his spine, and he’s got a problem with the base of his spine.

“It’s a huge blow – he’s been gigantic for us since he signed, for lots of different reasons, as I’ve continually said. His character, his determination to win, his experience and his versatility as well – it’s not just one position we’re losing, we’re also losing his ability to play at centre-back as well. It’s something we have to roll with.

“Matt is seeing a specialist tonight, and we’ll get some clearer information, but it’s not going to be a short-term fix for Matt. He will definitely be out for around three months. Again, that’s a rough estimate, but it will be around that figure regardless of whether he has surgery or not.”

Newcastle’s injury problems are mounting, with Sven Botman, Elliot Anderson, Jacob Murphy, Harvey Barnes and Alexander Isak also currently sidelined with major issues. To compound the Magpies’ problems, Sandro Tonali is suspended for ten months after breaching gambling regulations in his native Italy.

With Emil Krafth and Matt Ritchie not available for European action after they were omitted from Newcastle’s Champions League squad, Howe has had to add a couple of youngsters to his matchday group for tomorrow’s game at Signal Iduna Park.

“You just see who is fit and available,” said the Magpies boss. “We’ve added a couple of younger players to the squad, and we’ll go with that. That’s all we can do.

“You’re always going to get injuries – the problem for us is that the injuries we’ve currently got are on the longer-term scale, which means there’s no relief coming around the corner.

“That then means that, every game you play, you’re in a dangerous position. We wouldn’t have it any other way though. We’ve really enjoyed the games we’ve had, it’s just that those games have come at a cost recently, with injuries you can’t prepare for.

“Dan, going up for a header and falling on his back, that could happen at any moment. Unfortunately, for us, it’s come at the wrong time.”

Newcastle (probable, 4-3-3): Pope; Livramento, Lascelles, Schar, Trippier; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Gordon.