It has now been confirmed that Rob Elliot will be missing beyond the start of next season.

The Premier League kicks off for the 2016/17 season on 13 August 2016 and the Championship a week earlier…

Irrespective of which division Newcastle end up in though, Rob Elliot won’t be available, as it has been confirmed he will be missing at least six months of football with – meaning October 2016 is the best case scenario for the Irish keeper’s comeback.

With Tim Krul set to also be out beyond the start of next season, Karl Darlow is set to take charge until the end of this season but it would the remain to be seen what Rafa Benitez (or whoever…) will do for the 2016/17 season in these circumstances – Freddie Woodman set for the bench in these last eight matches.

Twisting his knee after quarter of an hour of last night’s game against Slovakia, Rob Elliot was clearly in agony as he punched the ground.

Speaking to the media after the 2-2 draw, Manager Martin O’Neill was asked about Rob Elliot:

“Not great – he has got a serious injury, so it is a real disappointment and dampener on the evening.”

As well as Martin O’Neill, Elliot’s friend (they were at Charlton together as kids) and international colleague Darren Randolph also spoke to the media.

Randolph searched out the Irish team’s doctor after coming off the pitch and the initial diagnosis didn’t sound good at the time and has proven to be as bad as first thought:

“I asked the doctor and I think he has ruptured his ligaments, so I think he needs surgery.

“I don’t know for sure yet but that’s what the doc thinks, obviously just waiting on scan results.

“It could happen to anybody…you could do that another 90 times and it wouldn’t happen.

“It is just unfortunate and he probably does the same thing every day in training and it is fine, it just happened tonight.”