Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez got a little bit more drama than anybody was expecting on Saturday.
The match only five minutes old when Daryl Murphy put Newcastle ahead with a scrambled effort from a corner, for his first ever United goal, only for the celebrations to be curtailed as Aleksandar was left writhing in pain on the ground.
The freak injury that had occurred during the goal incident ended up with Mitrovic receiving oxygen on the pitch and then stretchered off with what looked certainly a season ending injury to his leg/knee, if not something worse.
Straight after the final whistle, Rafa Benitez updated Newcastle fans and it was a positive, with news of it being a deep cut and not a break or ligament damage.
However, the Manager said that they still had to wait to see what the hospital would say.
Rafa Benitez talking NUFC TV:
“We have to wait.
“It is a cut – maybe his knee, his leg.
“We will have to wait when he gets back from the hospital what they say to us.
“We knew he was training and just thinking about playing well in this game and it was a pity because we had to take him off.
“It changed everything for him and changed everything for us because he was ready for this game and I think for us, in terms of the game plan, it also changed everything.”
Later, images appeared on social media (see below) showing Mitrovic back at St Andrew’s with crutches.
Now it has been confirmed that the striker has been told to rest for 10 days before starting his recovery.
A big relief for Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Birmingham 1 Newcastle 1
Newcastle: Murphy 5
Birmingham: Jutkiewicz 42
Possession was Birmingham 47% Newcastle 53%
Total shots were Birmingham 9 Newcastle 5
Shots on target were Birmingham 3 Newcastle 2
Corners were Birmingham 1 Newcastle 6
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Crowd: 13,171 (Newcastle 4,671)
Sels, Anita, Lascelles, Hanley, Haidara (Ritchie 69), Yedlin, Tiote (Hayden 65), Colback, Lazaar, Murphy, Mitrovic (Gouffran 10)
Darlow, Dummett, Clark, Gayle
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match HERE)
— Ciaran Phelan (@ciaran410) January 7, 2017