Isaac Hayden has been ruled out for the rest of the season for Newcastle United.
The midfielder was stretchered off in the first-half against Brighton on Saturday, after Yves Bissouma accidentally fell into him.
The 24-year-old was treated for several minutes before departing in agony, and it has now transpired that Hayden has sustained ‘significant’ damage to his knee.
A club statement has informed supporters that Hayden will not require surgery, but he will not play again in 2020/21.
It’s stated he will undertake a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical team in order to reach full fitness as soon as possible.
It is a hammer blow for the Magpies, with Hayden a big favourite with the fans for his commitment to the cause.
He joins Fabian Schar, Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin on the sidelines, although all three should be back in action soon after the international break.
Hayden’s injury is the last thing Newcastle need right now, with just two points separating them and Fulham in the Premier League table.
Talk has already turned to who should replace Hayden in the midfield.
Many anticipate that Bruce will turn to Jeff Hendrick despite the former Burnley man’s failure to make any kind of impact this season.
The hope for most is that the manager will turn to Matty Longstaff, who has not appeared for the first-team since January 18 against Arsenal, and not made a matchday squad since February 15 against Chelsea:
Hey Brucey, might be time to give Matty Longstaff a run eh?
— Liam Egan (@LiamEgo_17) March 23, 2021
Matty longstaff and certainly not Jeff hendrick
— kick racism out (@Djmyaz) March 23, 2021
Give matty a chance
— Daniel Ashton (@danielashton88) March 23, 2021
Can Steve Bruce miss the rest of the season? Hendrick and Shelvey in the midfield is going to be torture. Get Matty back in NOW.
— James (@James03292461) March 23, 2021
Matty longstaff and Sean to replace Shelvey too
— Rich Miller〽️⚫️⚪️ (@Rich1982Miller) March 23, 2021
Would love for m longstaff to have a run in the team but we all know 110% it will Hendrick, he will still be terrible in the championship next season
— Jacob Morrison (@Jacobm2809) March 23, 2021
Either Longstaff. The other one can replace Shelvey.
— JonK (@TheHonestJohns) March 23, 2021