SEAN LONGSTAFF has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage.
The Newcastle midfielder injured his joint in a tackle with Robert Snodgrass in last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham and had to be subbed at half-time.
Longstaff, 21, has been on crutches since and saw a knee specialist in London on Wednesday.
And the diagnosis came back that he has damaged his posterior cruciate ligament and could be out for as much as four months.
The news is a devastating blow for Longstaff, who had started the Toon’s last 11 games after making his Premier League debut in December.
His form had seen him on the brink of an England Under-21 call-up for their games with Poland and Germany later this month.
MOST READ IN FOOTBALL
But Longstaff will miss those friendlies, as well as the chance to play for the Young Lions in this summer’s Euro U21s tournament in Italy.
Newcastle have also been hit hard by the academy graduate’s injury and will have to replace him with one of Mo Diame, Ki Sung-yueng or Jonjo Shelvey.
Rafa Benitez and Co next take on Everton at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Newcastle then make the long trip to Bournemouth before visiting Arsenal in a tricky spell in the league.