This article is part of Football FanCast’s Injury News series, which considers the impact of the latest updates on players’ fitness.
According to The Sun, Jamaal Lascelles will be out of action for up to three months, but his absence provides Steve Bruce with the ideal chance to test his other defenders.
The Magpies skipper sustained a knee injury early on in the match against Bournemouth on Saturday, and the fact that it forced him off the pitch so soon meant it was always likely to be more than a knock.
It’s not good news for Lascelles, as he has sustained ligament damage, but he will look on the bright side as he is estimated to be back in early 2020, rather than spending several months out, which can happen.
For Newcastle it is a blow also. They were just beginning to find their feet under Bruce and the defence was building a strong understanding, which Lascelles’ injury could disrupt.
However, the squad perhaps has more cover at centre-back than any other position, and the 26-year-old being sidelined provides a chance for another player to prove their worth – just as Dummett did against the Cherries.
Watch Newcastle United Videos With StreamFootball.tv Below
According to some Newcastle fans, the centre-back won’t even be missed because he isn’t one of the best in his position at the club.
Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez have done well in recent games and got on the scoresheet to add to their defensive solidity, whilst Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune are also highly-rated by supporters.
Both of those players are recovering from their respective injuries, with the latter yet to make a first-team appearance this term, but with both believed to return soon it could work out to be perfect timing.
Lascelles is likely one of the first names of the team sheet because of his captaincy, but with him out Bruce will be able to experiment on his preferred centre-back trio.
That will allow him to see which players work best with each other and where exactly they fit – with the skipper typically occupying the central role of the three.
It is possible that Bruce will find a winning formula which means Lascelles struggles to win his place back, and though his leadership has made him a big figure in the past – and important to winning promotion – the former Nottingham Forest player may not be missed as much as first thought.