Newcastle United have suffered a major blow with the news that the club’s record signing Alexander Isak will be out for several weeks with a lower leg injury which means they have one fit striker available for the trip to Fulham next weekend.
Isak has scored two goals in three appearances for the Magpies since his £60m move from Real Sociedad but had looked off the pace during his last appearance in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth and has not played for Sweden during this international break.
The 23-year-old instead returned to Tyneside for treatment over the weekend and sources have told Telegraph Sport that although the problem is not serious, it will take several weeks to solve.
Newcastle have not put a precise time scale on Iask’s rehabilitation and manager Eddie Howe is notoriously secretive when it comes to issuing fitness updates, but the expectation is that he will miss several games.
It is more bad news for Howe and once again raises concerns about the stop-start nature of the campaign caused by the death of Queen Elizabeth, as well as the international break. Premier League clubs will now cram in as many as 14 games before the World Cup starts in November.
With Newcastle's back up centre forward Chris Wood also picking up a rib injury playing for New Zealand against Australia over the weekend and wide forward Allan Saint Maximin still recovering from a hamstring injury, offensive resources are stretched for a team that has won just one game so far this season.
The good news for Howe, who has also seen his team lose only once, is that Callum Wilson is back in training and should be fit enough to start at Fulham on Saturday.
Wilson remains Newcastle’s most reliable source of goals but has also been plagued by injuries during his time in the North East, managing just 43 starts since he arrived from Bournemouth back in July 2020.
The 31-year-old has made just three appearances this term and has not been seen since the 3-3 draw against Manchester City on August 21st.
If Wilson breaks down again, Newcastle would be forced to deploy Joelinton as a centre forward, a position he struggled to fill before Howe converted him into a destructive midfield player last season.