Friday 15 December 2017

Elliot facing several months on sideline

Rob Elliot is tended to by medical staff last Tuesday night. Photo: Seb Daly Sportsfile
Rob Elliot is tended to by medical staff last Tuesday night. Photo: Seb Daly Sportsfile
Ireland goalkeepers (l-r) David Forde and Darren Randolph. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Martin O'Neill now has a goalkeeping dilemma to face for Euro 2016 after Newcastle United confirmed that Rob Elliot will miss the tourament and be out of action for "several months".

Elliot suffered knee ligament damage early in the first half of Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Slovakia. While that's an immediate problem for his club, who are already without Tim Krul, Elliot's absence for the Euros leaves O'Neill with a call to make. Darren Randolph remains first choice but the back-up pair of David Forde and Shay Given lack match fitness. That could lead to a recall for Keiren Westwood, who has just been selected as goalkeeper of the month in the Championship for his form with Sheffield Wednesday.

Westwood did not make the 40-man provisional squad for the recent friendly games and is out of favour with O'Neill but that could change in the wake of Elliot's news, which was confirmed by the Magpies.

A Newcastle statement said: "Newcastle United can confirm that goalkeeper Rob Elliot has sustained an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament, suffered during the Republic of Ireland's friendly fixture against Slovakia last night.

"Rob has returned to Newcastle and has been assessed this morning by the club's doctor. He will now commence a programme of treatment and rehabilitation. Regrettably, the severity of this injury will rule Rob out for a number of months. Everyone connected with Newcastle United wishes Rob the very best for his recovery."

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