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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Magpies keeper Pope ruled out for four months with shoulder injury –

Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope has been ruled out for four months with a shoulder injury picked up against Manchester United.

The England stopper, 31, injured himself diving for a shot in the second half of Saturday’s 1-0 victory at St James’ Park and had to be replaced by Martin Dubravka.

He joins an already stacked Magpies absentee list, with Callum Wilson and Dan Burn among the other players currently sidelined.

Toon boss Eddie Howe said: “We anticipate he’ll be operated on — there’s no doubt he needs an operation — so he will be out for a period of time, we think around four months.

“It is the same shoulder [as his previous injury] but a different part of the shoulder. There was no reason for that happening.

“He’s had a couple of appointments, visited specialists. I am awaiting final news on what is going to happen.

“The operation hasn’t happened yet but we are thinking roughly around four months. So it is a big blow to us but one that we expected after the game. As soon as you see the dislocation, we were fearing the worst.”

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Pope has made 62 appearances since joining the Tynesiders in the summer of 2022, playing in all 14 of their Premier League games this term.

He has already kept six clean sheets in the top flight this term and team-mate Callum Wilson is aware of how big a loss the 10-cap international will be.

He said: “I think he is going to be a massive loss, no matter how long he is out.

“In some matches this season, he has single-handedly kept us in games.

“When a team goes one-on-one he will pull off a ‘worldie’ save and we will end up winning the game. He is that difference you need sometimes at the back.

“But that is not to say our other goalkeepers can’t step up now. It is their opportunity to shine and that is what football is all about.”

Newcastle take on Everton at Goodison Park on Thursday as they look to stay within touching distance of the top four.

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