Newcastle suffer major injury blow with Ciaran Clark ruled out until next season

Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark has been ruled out for the rest of the season after damaging ankle ligaments at Arsenal a fortnight ago.

Clark's injury is a major blow to the Toon's survival prospects with the Republic of Ireland international having been in excellent form since breaking into the side last October.

It's also bad news for the Republic ahead of their Euro 2020 play-off showdown against Slovakia next month.

The centre half left the Emirates Stadium on crutches following the Magpies' 4-0 defeat and had been wearing a protective boot.

But after seeing a specialist, Clark's been told he won't play again until next season. He is the third Newcastle defender to be ruled out for the entire campaign.

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Paul Dummett is missing for several months while Jetro Willems returned to parent club Eintracht Frankfurt after suffering a cruciate knee injury against Chelsea.

And Javier Manchillo has not played since tearing his hamstring on New Year's Day though he should be available soon.

Toon chief Steve Bruce still has options at the back with Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune all having recovered from lengthy lay-offs.

And he brought in Tottenham's Danny Rose during the transfer window to fill the void left by Willems' absence.

Schar replaced Clark at Crystal Palace last Saturday as the Geordies suffered a second successive defeat on the road and the Swiss is likely to retain his place against Burnley at St James' Park this weekend.

Newcastle have won just one league game this year and a bad result against the in-form Clarets will heighten relegation fears on Tyneside.

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