Newcastle United have suffered a triple blow ahead of tomorrow’s home Championship clash with Brighton (5.30pm kick-off).
Strikers Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic are unavailable, having been concussed in Tuesday’s EFL Cup win over Cheltenham.
And Rolando Aarons is facing eight weeks out after fracturing a metatarsal in the same game.
Gayle, who has netted four Championship goals this season, and Mitrovic both took blows to the head, and they will not be allowed to face Chris Hughton’s Seagulls because of the FA’s concussion guidelines.
Paul Catterson, Newcastle’s head of sports medicine and science, said: “We have to adhere to the guidelines set out by the FA in line with other competitive sports, which rightly puts the safety and health of players first.”
Manager Rafa Benitez is likely to turn to forward Ayoze Perez, who scored both goals against Cheltenham, to fill the gap up front.
Winger Aarons – who overcame a series of injuries to earn a new deal this summer – will undergo surgery on his foot.
Meanwhile, long-serving keeper Tim Krul has joined Dutch club Ajax on loan until the end of season after signing a contract extension at Newcastle until the summer of 2018.
Krul, close to a comeback from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, replaces Jasper Cillessen, who has joined Barcelona.