Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has confirmed that Mikel Merino will play no part in Saturday’s Premier League match against Bournemouth due to a back injury.
The Spaniard was left out of the squad for Monday night’s 1-0 defeat to Burnley due to the knock.
Benitez revealed while speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference that Merino is facing a spell on the sidelines.
The 21-year-old, who scored in a recent victory over Crystal Palace, is expected to be out of action for weeks rather than days.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 3, 2017
The midfielder has become quite the favourite among Newcastle fans after he decided to sign a permanent contract, despite initially joining the club from Borussia Dortmund on loan.
Losing Merino when the team want to get back to winning ways is far from ideal.
However, looking at the big picture there is a silver lining due to the fact that after the match against Bournemouth, it is the international break.
It will give Merino and the Newcastle medical staff time to get fighting fit for when the Premier League resumes.
The Spaniard has made nine appearances so far, six of which have been starts in the top flight, and has contributed with one goal.