The last thing Rafa Benitez needs is any more injury problems but Monday morning has brought news of yet another one.

Starting with tonight at Burnley, Newcastle are set for a schedule of 10 games in only 41 days.

This follows an international interrupted few months, where they played only eight Premier League matches in 85 days.

Typical that injuries should be hitting now.

Rafa Benitez confirmed on Friday that Florian Lejeune, Jamie Sterry and Paul Dummett were definitely ruled out at Turf Moor.

Whilst he also revealed that none of Muto, Shelvey and Lascelles had completed a full training session, appearing to indicate that he would be lucky to even have any of them on the bench tonight.

Added to this, The Chronicle have now revealed that Karl Darlow has also picked up an injury, suffering an elbow problem in training. They say that there is no indication as yet regarding just how long he will be missing for.

Obviously if it had been Martin Dubravka picking up an injury that would have been far worse BUT then fate often finds a way of compounding any problem. So anybody thinking it is ‘just’ the reserve keeper who is injured should be wary of voicing that, tempting the fates with Dubravka.

Bottom line is that Karl Darlow is clearly by some distance number two ahead of Rob Elliot (and indeed Freddie Woodman).

After poor form, Rob Elliot was replaced by Karl Darlow in late December 2017 and since then hasn’t played a single game, indeed since Martin Dubravka arrived, Elliot hasn’t even made a first team bench.

Karl Darlow has been the constant number two to Dubravka and has been on the bench every Premier League match this season, plus played against Forest in the League Cup.

Newcastle United could name up to 25 senior players in their Premier League squad and with those seven potentially all set to miss, these are the other 18 senior options:

Goalkeepers:

Dubravka, Elliot

Defenders:

Fernandez, Clark, Manquillo, Lazaar, Schar, Yedlin

Midfield:

Diame, Hayden, Ki, Murphy, Kenedy, Ritchie, Atsu

Strikers:

Perez, Rondon, Joselu

If you take out Lazaar and add Longstaff (who qualifies as an Under 21 player), then you have an 18 man squad that appears to pick itself….