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Martin Dubravka injury setback during recovery – Newcastle United officially confirm

3 weeks ago
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It is coming up to five weeks now, since Martin Dubravka had surgery on a broken metatarsal.

The Newcastle United number one once again finding himself in the position of missing the start of the Premier League season.

After making 88 consecutive Premier League appearances for Newcastle United, Martin Dubravka was ruled out for the first 14 PL matches of the 2020/21 season after surgery to his heel. Then bizarrely, Steve Bruce kept the Slovakian on the bench for another 11 games, before Dubrakva finally was given the last 13 PL matches of last season.

Then five weeks ago this weekend, it was the 32 year old himself who revealed that he’d had surgery, sending a message to Newcastle fans from his hospital bed in the Czech Republic, along with a photo of himself, after having had the operation.

Martin Dubravka

There then followed still no mention / acknowledgement from the club about this key player and his operation and now recovery. Thankfully, Martin Dubravka himself gave fans an update four weeks ago, the Newcastle star speaking to media back in Slovakia.

Why another operation?

“I have been feeling pain in my leg since last December. This was probably due to the fact that last year I had a torn tendon, so I loaded the foot differently than usual. I was constantly feeling uncomfortable in my football. The pain escalated, getting more and more intense. In the end, it turned out to be a fatigue fracture and surgery was necessary, otherwise it could leave even more negative traces. 

“I underwent the procedure on Saturday in Prostějov [Czech Republic] at a specialized clinic with Dr. Vladimír Macháček. He solved my ankle problem seven years ago, and since then he has had my full trust. I wanted to go somewhere I know. I firmly believe that everything turned out well and it will be the same this time. 

Examination by magnetic resonance or CT showed something, but only in the operating room was it found that it was a bigger problem. I had a broken first metatarsal cube and I had a fragment there that needed to be removed. ”

How long should rehabilitation and a break from football last?

“I would love to start the first match of the new season. However, this is highly unlikely. The doctor told me that it was individual that each patient responded differently. He has had a positive experience with me, as after the mentioned operation, the member predicted a two-month break for me, but I was back after three weeks.

“Now, [this time] the procedure was finally longer than planned, so a longer convalescence will probably be necessary. But it was important to solve it.”

How did they react in Newcastle, what did you agree with them?

“They have known since December that I have a problem and that sometime it will have to be resolved. They saw how my condition developed…after the first week of the Euro, I was already needing the help of drugs.

“However, this is no excuse, because I really wanted to complete the championship. After the tournament, the doctors told me to rest in particular. However, the pain did not subside, so I chose a different path.

Before that, I tried all possible procedures, as at first it didn’t seem like a fracture. I believed that a week by the sea with my family after the Euros would help me. It didn’t help either. I originally went to Prostějov only for an injection, but the doctor x-rayed me thoroughly, did a magnet examination and then it turned out that the injection would not help. We wasted no time and I went to surgery four days after the diagnosis. 

“I thought that in the previous months I had already had all the bad luck, but almost exactly at the same time as last year, it’s here again. I don’t know how to explain it. Whether it’s extreme effort, or I’m just getting older…it’s disappointing for me. I was looking forward to the new season, to football, to Newcastle. Unfortunately, I have to wait.

“It is all the more regrettable when more spectators can finally return to the stands. When St James Park is full, or at least for the most part, it is something special.”

During that interview Martin Dubravka mentioned, when asked, that this summer he’d had approaches from other clubs. Though he didn’t go into in any detail, I’m assuming that even if he had been tempted, ironically the injury problems and need for surgery have ensured that this excellent goalkeeper stays at Newcastle United, at least for the time being.

The comment about hoping to be back for the start of the season was always an emotional response, rather than one with any possibility of happening. However, I thought realistically that after the first international break would hopefully when Martin Dubravka could return, that being Man Utd away in now 22 days time (Saturday 11 September).

After an official NUFC update on Thursday night though, I think we are looking at longer than that, with Martin Dubravka having a setback to recovery.

This news came out of a question and answer session Steve Bruce did on BBC Radio Newcastle.

Asked about how Karl Darlow was doing, Bruce replied:

“When I’ve got this platform, I have to say for those people who are under 30 and thinking of not getting jabbed, you just look at the Karl Darlow situation.

“Here is a young, really top professional athlete who has been struck down [by covid] and found himself in hospital. It knocked the stuffing out of Karl and he is still recovering, he lost a hell of a lot of weight because of it. He’s not in contention I would have thought for the weekend [against Aston Villa].

“The same for Martin Dubravka who has picked up this injury in the Euros which has needed an operation. Unfortunately, that has become infected, which has caused a problem there [in his recovery].”

Steve Bruce was then asked about whether any more signings were expected in this transfer window:

“You can never say never but we have this conundrum at the moment with the goalkeeping situation and do we name four in the [official Premier League] squad, which is practically unheard of? If we do do that, then that’s the full quota for the 25 man squad.

“That’s a decision we have to make in the next couple of weeks, I will never give up on trying to improve the squad, and if there’s somebody out there who can improve us, and we can do it, then we will try and act.”

Hmmm, using the goalkeeper situation as an excuse for not bringing in the three or more outfield signings that are desperately needed, is laughable. There are players that could be let go to make room for signings, who are clearly not good enough, such as Krafth and Hendrick. Whilst plenty of others struggle to be good enough on a regular basis and could be easily improved upon.

However, what Steve Bruce does appear to tell us, is that if he is still thinking four goalkeepers might be needed in the 25 man senior PL squad that needs to be named after the transfer window closes, it doesn’t suggest that we will be seeing Martin Dubravka and / or Karl Darlow anytime soon.

Freddie Woodman seemingly ensured a decent run in the team and able to show what he can do.

Here’s hoping that he gets a bit better protection from those in front of him against Aston Villa on Saturday, than he experienced against West Ham.

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