NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew is sweating on the fitness of Tim Krul after the goalkeeper injured his elbow on international duty, writes ROSS GREGORY.
Krul staked his claim for Holland’s No.1 shirt after keeping a clean sheet in their World Cup qualifier against Turkey on Friday.
However, his joy at getting the nod ahead of regular No1 Maarten Stekelenberg was quickly shortlived, as he was forced out of the Dutch squad ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Hungary.
The 24-year-old has returned to Tyneside where he will receive treatment ahead of next Monday night’s clash at Everton.
It is a further headache for Pardew, who is already likely to be without captain Fabricio Coloccini for the trip to Goodison Park.
Coloccini picked up a hamstring strain last week while training with Argentina, and after missing their game against Paraguay on Friday, has also been ruled out of tomorrow’s clash with Peru.
He will fly back to Tyneside today where Newcastle’s medical staff will assess his injury amid concerns he could be ruled out for up to a month.
With Danny Simpson and Ryan Taylor also injured, it leaves United’s defensive resources severely stretched, although James Perch has recovered from a neck injury.
Perch could come in at full-back at Everton, with Mike Williamson deputising for Coloccini in the centre of defence, though Pardew has the option of playing Vurnon Anita or James Tavernier on the right side if he wants to partner Perch with Steven Taylor in the middle.
Anita, however, could be needed in the centre of midfield should Cheik Tiote not prove his fitness in time, though the Ivory Coast star is confident of recovering from a calf strain that has ruled him out of the last four games.
Tiote said: “I’m trying my best to be fit for the Everton game, but it’s important to be back 100 per cent.
“It’s hard to watch the games and not be able to be on the pitch to help the team win the game. It’s difficult for me.”
Tiote was not involved as Ivory Coast won the first leg of their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Senegal 4-2 at the weekend.
His Newcastle team-mate Papiss Demba Cisse skippered the Senegal team, and scored with a header, while Demba Ba was on the bench.