Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren is fearful that the loss of starting goalkeeper Tim Krul could end up costing the Magpies 20 points.
Krul, 27, was injured while on international duty for the Netherlands. The netminder had to come off after suffering a knee injury against Kazakhstan. Krul has been ruled out for the rest of the season, leaving Newcastle with a couple of fairly inexperienced goalkeepers in Robe Elliot and and Karl Darlow.
“It’s a massive blow for us, you’re talking about one of the best players in our team,” McClaren told The Daily Mirror. “He’s a vital player, very important, and he’d get us 18 or 20 points a season with the way he plays.
“To lose that is devastating. We’ve had a couple of days to get over it, but for him, the shock of starting to get injured is starting to appear. In the last day or two, he’s been a little bit down, but that’s football and he’ll recover.
“He’ll get the best treatment and a good operation, and we wish him well with that. In the meantime, it’s time for Rob Elliot to step forward and fill his boots. He needs to step up and perform.”
Elliot, 29, has featured in 16 Premier League games since joining Newcastle in 2011.
Newcastle, who are sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table, takes on Norwich City on Sunday. With three points in eight games, the Magpies are still looking for the first league win of the season.