NEWCASTLE UNITED’S injury situation worsened further at the weekend when Nick Pope and Anthony Gordon both suffered problems that prevented them from finishing the 1-0 win over Manchester United.

The Magpies currently have 13 players missing or doubtful because of injury or suspension – what are their individual situations and when might they be available to return?

NICK POPE (Shoulder)

The Northern Echo: Nick PopeNick Pope (Image: PA)

Nick Pope was in obvious discomfort as he left the field at the weekend after dislocating his shoulder while hurling himself to his left in an attempt to make a save.

Eddie Howe has subsequently confirmed that the goalkeeper’s shoulder has been popped back into position, but the key question is whether or not he will need a more permanent fix. If Pope requires surgery, which is looking increasingly likely, he could be sidelined for around three months.

Howe said: “It will be a massive blow for us if he is ruled out for any length of time. It looked really innocuous, but that is usually the way and they are normally the more serious ones.”

Expected return: Unknown (March 2024 if surgery is needed)


It is now more than two months since Sven Botman injured his knee during the eight-goal demolition of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Newcastle’s medical staff have been desperately trying to avoid an operation, hence the carefully-controlled way in which the Dutchman has been eased back into training. It is hoped Botman will be back in action before the end of the month, although the risk of a recurrence will be there in the background.

Howe said: “We are building up his load after his injury and he is reacting really well to the work he is doing.”

Expected return: Luton (a) – Dec 23


The Northern Echo: Dan BurnDan Burn (Image: PA)

Dan Burn injured his back during the home win over Arsenal at the start of this month after he fell awkwardly while going up for a header.


The injury was immediately described as a serious one, and while it has not required surgery, the centre-half will not be available to return until well into the new year.

Howe said: “He landed on his spine, and he has a problem with the base of his spine. It could be a couple of months.”

Expected return: Aston Villa (a) – Jan 30


He is something of a forgotten man, but had Javier Manquillo not suffered a groin injury last month, he might well have been in Newcastle’s starting side in recent weeks.

The exact severity of the Spaniard’s problem is not known, but he is not yet back in training and is unlikely to be available for at least the next couple of weeks.

Howe said: “He has got a groin problem – it’s a blow to have another player unavailable.”

Expected return: Liverpool (a) – Jan 1

MATT TARGETT (Hamstring)

The Northern Echo: Matt TargettMatt Targett (Image: PA)

With Burn available, Targett would almost certainly have been starting at left-back had he not suffered a hamstring injury in the opening minutes of last month’s Carabao Cup win at Old Trafford.

The full-back had surgery in the wake of the injury, and is not expected to be available for at least another couple of months.

Howe said: “He just stretched his leg up to tackle, and the minute he hit the ground, he was waving to us on the sidelines and I knew he was in trouble.”

Expected return: Nottm Forest (a) – Feb 10


Elliot Anderson’s back injury is one of the more bizarre of Newcastle’s setbacks as it did not become apparent during a game or training session. Instead, the midfielder simply woke up one morning in extreme pain.

It was initially hoped he could return before the end of the year, but that now looks unlikely and a return date of mid to late January is regarded as more realistic.

Howe said: “He’s continuing to work behind the scenes - he’s having another scan to see how he’s healing and we’ll see the results of that.”

Expected return: Aston Villa (a) – Jan 30


The Northern Echo: Harvey BarnesHarvey Barnes (Image: PA)

Having joined Newcastle from Leicester in the summer, Harvey Barnes was just starting to settle into his new surrounds when he suffered a foot injury during September’s thrashing of Sheffield United.

The problem did not require surgery, but Howe described it as “unusual” at the time and it will have required three months of rest and recuperation by the time the winger makes his anticipated return at the end of the month.

Howe said: “It’s an injury underneath his toe. It’s an unusual injury, we’re a bit baffled about how it’s come about, but it’s just one of those things that sometimes happens.”

Expected return: Nottm Forest (h) – Dec 26


After scoring what proved to be the winner in Saturday’s game with Manchester United, Anthony Gordon complained of discomfort in his hip and was replaced in stoppage time.

Thankfully, however, the issue does not appear to be serious, and when he spoke to the media after the game, the winger was expecting to be available to face his former club, Everton, on Thursday night.

Howe said: “He just said he was feeling a tightness in his hip – fingers crossed it’s nothing serious.”

Expected return: Everton (a) – Dec 7


The Northern Echo: Sean LongstaffSean Longstaff (Image: PA)

While Sean Longstaff injured his ankle in the closing stages of the defeat to Bournemouth, it was initially hoped he would be available to return after the international break.

That did not prove to be the case, and after missing the win over Manchester United, the midfielder is also unlikely to be available for the trip to Goodison Park. He could, however, be part of the squad that travels to Tottenham at the weekend.

Howe said: “We hope it’s not a long-term injury, but even two or three weeks at this stage feels like a lifetime. It’s hard to give a definitive time.”

Expected return: Tottenham (a) – Dec 10


Having dislocated his shoulder in the home defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Jacob Murphy made a surprise return to action as a substitute against Arsenal.

However, he lasted just five minutes before suffering another dislocation, and has subsequently had an operation that will rule him out of action for at least another month-and-a-half.

Howe said: “We always knew there was a chance that he could do his shoulder again, but he was prepared to take the risk. Unfortunately, we lost him during the game.”

Expected return: Aston Villa (a) – Jan 30

SANDRO TONALI (Suspension)

The Northern Echo: Sandro TonaliSandro Tonali (Image: PA)

While most of Newcastle’s issues have been extremely unfortunate, the absence of Sandro Tonali is self-inflicted, with the Italian midfielder serving a ten-month suspension for breaching gambling regulations.

Tonali is able to train with Newcastle’s first-team squad, but will not be available for competitive action for the remainder of the season as well as the opening weeks of the 2023-24 campaign.

Howe said: “Sandro has been training very well, which makes it even more frustrating for us that we can’t use him, especially in this moment when we really need him.”

Expected return: August 27, 2024

JOE WILLOCK (Achilles)

Joe Willock missed the opening two-and-a-half months of the season because of an Achilles problem, so it was a major blow when he suffered a recurrence of the issue less than a month after making a first-team return.

Howe has stated that the latest problem is “not a long-term injury”, raising hopes that the midfielder could be available again before the end of the year.

Howe said: “It’s a recurrence of an Achilles injury that he had a few weeks ago, so it’s a massive blow.”

Expected return: Chelsea (a) – Dec 19


The Northern Echo: Callum WilsonCallum Wilson (Image: PA)

Callum Wilson has suffered from hamstring issues throughout his Newcastle career, and his latest problem saw him withdrawn at half-time in the away defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

He was subsequently forced to pull out of the England squad, and while he has hinted he could be able to return to training soon, his injury record means there will be an understandable reluctance to push him too hard, too soon.

Howe said: “Callum has a tight hamstring. He missed out with England, and we expect he’ll be out for a number of weeks.”

Expected return: Luton (a) – Dec 23