Newcastle United player ruled out of international match through injury - could return next week

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The Newcastle United defender is set to leave permanently this summer.

Newcastle United defender Jamal Lewis has been forced to temporarily withdraw from the Northern Ireland squad due to injury.

Lewis - who is on loan at Championship side Watford - has been ruled out of tonight's friendly with Romania with a foot problem. He has returned to Vicarage Road for treatment but is hopeful of re-joining Michael O'Neill's squad ahead of the match away to Scotland on Tuesday.

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“Jamal's foot injury is keeping him out of the first of Northern Ireland's two games," said Watford interim manager Tom Cleverley. "But he's optimistic he may be okay for the second game early next week."

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The Magpies are looking to offload Lewis permanently this summer after inserting an option to buy clause when striking a season-long agreement with Watford last July.

Lewis has made 31 appearances for the Hornets this season, just five short of the total he's made for United since joining from Norwich City for £15million in 2020.

He started four of Eddie Howe’s opening six games in charge before picking up a hamstring injury in December 2021 against Liverpool. Then, an ongoing groin problem contributed to Lewis being left out of United’s 25-man Premier League squad for the second half of that season.

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Lewis was set to be handed a chance to impress in pre-season the following summer, however he didn't play a single minute due to a calf issue. In total, Lewis played just nine minutes of Premier League football last term with his only start coming in the FA Cup third round exit to Sheffield Wednesday.

The former Luton Town youngster is under contract at St James' Park until 2025. Watford have first option on signing Lewis as Newcastle hope to get him off the wage bill and aid their summer transfer budget amid Premier League Profitability and Sustainability rules.

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