Newcastle United struck by Fabian Schar hammer blow as defender ruled out until pre-season

Newcastle United have been rocked by news that Fabian Schar's season is over after the Switzerland international received negative feedback from a scan.

The long serving Newcastle defender hobbled off at half-time in the 5-1 win over Sheffield United despite attempts to play on in the first half. But after being an ever present this season and avoiding injuries amid a treatment room crisis, he too will end the campaign with the physios.

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The defensive blow leaves Eddie Howe struggling for centre-backs with Dan Burn already switched to the centre with Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles also ruled out for the rest of the season. Howe does have back-up through Paul Dummett, Sweden international Emil Krafth and Alex Murphy going into the run-in.

Howe, speaking at his Press conference ahead of the clash at Turf Moor, said: "Fabian will miss a period of time out with a minor hamstring problem. He won't play tomorrow and I doubt we will see him again until next season.

"We are lighter than we'd like to be in the centre-back area. Emil has played well in that position and did very well in the Carabao Cup tie at Man United.

"Alex has been impressive in training I have been impressed with him, he has grown and developed. He had a little cameo last week with Fabian's injury it maybe gives him an opportunity to come into the team and the same goes for Paul Dummett."

Yet there was better news in terms of returnees with Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Nick Pope back in training. Although, Howe was not certain whether they will be available for the Burnley game while Kieran Trippier should be back next week.

Howe said: "We've had Miggy and Joelinton return to first team training. We're that with Nick Pope so it's been a good week to have three senior players. Kieran Trippier lies slightly behind he has been training by himself and will be back next week. He could be involved before the end of the season."

Howe will take on the Clarets with three away games from the final four games to come. United's away form has been poor this season.

He added: "There has been a combination of things (with away form) hopefully we can make improvements not just in this season but the next."