Newcastle United will be without Harvey Barnes until 2024, head coach Eddie Howe has confirmed.
The £38million summer signing from Leicester City was making just his second start for the Magpies when he picked up a foot injury 11 minutes into the 8-0 win at Sheffield United last Sunday.
Barnes visited a specialist ahead of Wednesday’s 1-0 win over English and European champions Manchester City in the Carabao Cup. The winger won’t require surgery but can’t play for a lengthy period of time.
“We think he’s going to be out for around three months,” said Howe. “No surgery required which is good news but his foot is now in a boot. It’s an injury underneath his toe and he’s now starting his recovery.
“I think he’s going to be quite sedated for a period of time because he’s got to rest and give it every chance to recover and then we have to build him up slowly.”
Barnes is unlikely to feature until January at the earliest with three-month timescale a return to training, rather than a return to playing.
“I think the three months is probably to return to training but we live in hope that he could come back sooner than that. That’s probably where it is,” said Howe.
“It’s come at a shocking time for Harvey because he’s just starting to find his rhythm. With so many games coming up to lose any player is such a big blow for us. We have to deal with it, accept it and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“I don’t actually know the right term to use but it is an unusual injury and we’re sort of a little bit baffled as to how and why it’s come about. Sometimes as much as you try and find a reason, there isn’t one and it’s just one of those things that happens. he knew straight away, it’s very unusual to see that.”