Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has confirmed that goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has suffered a setback ahead of his team’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
The Slovakian had surgery on a broken metatarsal and confirmed after the operation that it would be very unlikely he would be available for the first game of the Premier League season against West Ham, with Freddie Woodman playing in his absence.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Villa, Bruce has delivered a worrying update on Dubravka’s situation.
He said: “It’s not great when the two most experienced ones are struggling. Martin’s injury has become infected which will set him back a few more weeks. Karl has still not overcome his problems. We may have to register four goalkeepers which is unheard of.”
Dubravka missed a large part of the 2020/21 Premier League season too due to injury, before eventually making his comeback and starting the last 13 games in the division – the Magpies lost just three times in that run.
Being deprived of the man who finished the campaign as their number one shot-stopper will come as a bitter blow to Bruce, but the Newcastle manager’s admission that the 32-year-old is now set to miss the new few weeks as well is a major setback.
With Karl Darlow also out, Woodman will have to step up to the plate over these next few games for the Magpies, and that’s a big ask for a 24-year-old who had never played a Premier League game until last weekend against the Hammers.
The news on Dubravka right before the clash against Villa this afternoon is sure to have Bruce worried over how Woodman, and the team in general, will cope in the 32-year-old’s continued absence.