Newcastle United player facing seven-game spell on the sidelines

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Eddie Howe's admitted one Newcastle United player could be out until after the World Cup.

Matt Ritchie wasn’t involved against Brentford and Fulham due to a calf injury, and Howe has revealed that the 33-year-old winger may not be back until Christmas, when the Premier League resumes after following a break for the tournament in Qatar.

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“Matt has picked up a calf problem,” said United’s head coach. “We don’t know whether he’ll be back before the World Cup, but he’s doing well.”

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Newcastle have six Premier League games and a Carabao Cup tie before the World Cup, which kicks off on November 20.

Meanwhile, United defender Emil Krafth – who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in August – is making “slow progress”. Howe said: “It’s a serious injury. He’s back in Sweden at the moment with his family in the early stages of his rehab. Knowing Emil, he will do his work, and he’ll be very dedicated to that.”