EDDIE HOWE does not think Fabian Schar and Joelinton suffered serious injuries in Newcastle United’s 3-0 win over Fulham, but admits the loss of the duo is nevertheless a huge blow ahead of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final with Chelsea.

Schar and Joelinton both hobbled off in the first half of today’s win at St James’ Park, adding to the Magpies’ already lengthy injury issues.

Schar suffered a muscular problem and was forced off in the first 15 minutes, while Joelinton was experiencing hamstring issues and was also unable to complete the first half.


Howe is hoping that neither injury is especially serious, but it remains unlikely that either player will be able to line up at Stamford Bridge next week.

“Obviously, the injuries are the negative,” said the Newcastle boss. “I think Fabian’s is a glute problem - I don't think it's a hamstring – but Joey's possibly might be a hamstring.

“We don't think they're serious, but certainly to come off the pitch, they're short-term problems for us that we can't navigate easily at the moment.

“We were thinking that possibly we were through the worst of our injury situation. Now it's reared its head again in a negative way, so we’ll have to see where we are.”

Alexander Isak was absent from today’s squad, with Howe having opted to rest the Swedish striker, who has been suffering from a long-standing groin problem.

Isak has been playing through the pain barrier in the absence of Callum Wilson, but could find himself restored to the squad against Chelsea.

“Alex isn’t doing too bad,” said Howe. “He’s been playing recently, but still isn’t 100 per cent with a groin problem. We just felt today was probably the right time to take him out.

“He’s put himself on the pitch for us because Callum’s not been fit, and he’s played a lot of minutes. But he’s not 100 per cent fit, and I want to try to get him 100 per cent if physically possible. But with the further injuries we’ve had, I don’t know if that will be the case.”

On a more positive note on the injury front, Sven Botman returned to the side for the first time since mid-September as an 83rd-minute replacement for goalscorer Dan Burn.

“He's (Botman) a very, very popular member of the dressing room, popular in terms of personality, but also as a player,” said Howe. “The lads love him on the pitch.

“He's had a really difficult injury, it's not been clear-cut for him. We're really hopeful he can stay fit now, He's back, he's a key part of our plans.”