Newcastle United star facing four months out as surgery blow confirmed - £95m quartet 'close'

Joelinton of Newcastle United celebrates with teammate Bruno Guimaraes following the team's victory during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on November 25, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Joelinton of Newcastle United celebrates with teammate Bruno Guimaraes following the team's victory during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on November 25, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Joelinton of Newcastle United celebrates with teammate Bruno Guimaraes following the team's victory during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on November 25, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Joelinton set to undergo surgery as Newcastle United quartet close to return.

Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton will undergo thigh surgery today, which will likely see the Brazilian miss the remainder of the season.

The Brazilian picked up the issue during the 3-0 victory over Tyne-Wear rivals Sunderland, a game where he set up the opener and watched as Alexander Isak scored the first of his two goals before departing early in the second-half.

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Eddie Howe, speaking before the 3-2 defeat to Manchester City last month, believed Joelinton would be sidelined for a minimum of six weeks, however, he is unlikely to play again this term as surgery will require four months recovery.

Kieran Trippier, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak of Newcastle United celebrate Sunderland scoring an own goal during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Sunderland and Newcastle United at Stadium of Light on January 06, 2024 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Kieran Trippier, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak of Newcastle United celebrate Sunderland scoring an own goal during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Sunderland and Newcastle United at Stadium of Light on January 06, 2024 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Kieran Trippier, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak of Newcastle United celebrate Sunderland scoring an own goal during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Sunderland and Newcastle United at Stadium of Light on January 06, 2024 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

While Joelinton's absence is a massive blow for Newcastle, the injury situation is set to ease in the coming weeks.

Following their two-week Premier League winter break, Howe's side travel to Fulham in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday (kick-off 7pm). From then onwards, Jacob Murphy, Callum Wilson, Harvey Barnes and Joe Willock are in line to return.

Murphy was back in light training prior to the Man City lost and has made good progress in his recovery from surgery on a dislocated shoulder in November.

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The former Norwich City winger could be involved against Fulham, as could Callum Wilson when United face Aston Villa in the Premier League three days later. The England striker, who has attracted interest from Atletico Madrid and AC Milan, has missed the last three games because of a calf issue and Howe has already named the visit to Villa Park as a likely return date.

Elsewhere, Joe Willock is understood to be two or three weeks away from playing again in a massive boost. Newcastle will lose Joelinton for the rest of the season when he undergoes surgery on a thigh issue next week, leaving just three fit senior midfielders in Sean Longtaff, Lewis Miley and Bruno Guimaraes, who is one Premier League yellow card away from serving a two-match ban.

But slightly ahead of Willock in his recovery is £38million summer signing Harvey Barnes. The winger hasn't featured since the 8-0 win over Sheffield United in September because of a foot injury having suffered a setback last month. United medics are still proceeding with caution but he too could be back in action at the start of February.

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