Newcastle United dealt third surgery blow as Eddie Howe drops major injury return hint

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Newcastle United injury update ahead of Thursday's Premier League clash at Everton.

Newcastle United expect to be without Nick Pope for the next four months with the goalkeeper set to undergo surgery.

Pope dislocated his shoulder in Saturday's evening 1-0 win over Manchester United at St James' Park. The 31-year-old has been seen by specialists and Eddie Howe says an operation is the likely outcome.

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Howe said: “He’s had a couple of appointments visiting specialists. I’m awaiting final news on what's going to happen but we anticipate he’ll be operated on. There's no doubt he needs an operation so he'll be out for a period of time.

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"The operation hasn’t happened yet but we're thinking roughly around four months. A big blow for us but one we expected after the game. As soon as we saw the dislocation, we were fearing the worst.

"He'd been in the best he's been in since being at the football club. How is he? He'll naturally down. We're at a stage in the season where we have so many games and he's got the Euros ahead of him as well which he was determined to try and be involved in.

"There's still a chance of that but the determination is to come back for us and you never what situation we'll be in at that stage of the season. It could be a lot worse for him but we're thinking of him.

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"It was another strange injury for us and there was no reason for that to happen at that moment but with Fabian blocking the shoot in front of him, I think his dive was slightly different than it normally would have been and unfortunately we suffer another injury to a big player."

Two Newcastle players have already undergone surgery in recent months. Jacob Murphy had an operation on a dislocated shoulder while Matt Targett had surgery on his hamstring.

While those players won't return until mid-January to late February, Howe hinted at a comeback for the likes of Sven Botman, Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock.

He said: "We hope so. Difficult to give a definitive answer but we hope so. No one is training with the group at the moment but there are players who are very close."

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