Starting for the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night against Slovakia, it only took a quarter of an hour for Rob Elliot to have his season turned upside down.
He might have been suffering along with Newcastle fans as relegation looms large – but after making the keeper’s jersey his this season…and possibly even so when Tim Krul returned, Elliot is now surely out for the season and possibly even beyond that.
As Slovakia scored the opener, Rob Elliot appeared to twist his knee as he tried to change direction, the Newcastle goalkeeper stretchered off and sent to hospital for a scan, with initial reports suggesting knee ligament damage.
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, Darren Randolph has also spoken to the media.
The West Ham keeper replaced Rob Elliot last night and now looks to be nailed on to start for Ireland in the Euros with Elliot’s absence all but confirmed.
Darren Randolph has known the Newcastle keeper since they were friends and trained together at Charlton as teenagers.
Randolph searched out the Irish team’s doctor after coming off the pitch and the initial diagnosis doesn’t sound good:
“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.”
Since Tim Krul’s injury when away with Holland, Rob Elliot has started 21 of the 22 Premier League games.
The exception was when Karl Darlow started at the Hawthorns in place of the injured Elliot, Darlow having a nightmare as he looked a bag of nerves and let in a soft goal to hand three points to West Brom.
What a game to now come in for, a match at Norwich that Newcastle really can’t afford to lose and in reality, probably have to win.
Freddie Woodman today qualified with his England team-mates for the Under 19s European Championships in Germany this summer.
He is set to be on the bench at Carrow Road this Saturday.
Whatever happens, we all wish Rob Elliot a speedy return – he has been one of the very few positives this season for Newcastle United.