Federico Fernandez is set to miss the majority of Newcastle United’s festive fixture list after picking up a thigh injury.
The Argentine was an unused substitute in the 4-0 defeat at Leicester City on Sunday having previously featured against Norwich City and Burnley.
However, the 32-year-old will likely miss the bulk of the club’s fixtures over a hectic few weeks.
What did Eddie Howe say about Federico Fernandez?
Howe, speaking ahead of the trip to Liverpool, told reporters at his pre-match press conference: “We’ve lost Federico Fernandez due to an injury.
“We’re not sure of the extent of that injury yet but he’ll certainly miss this game (Liverpool) and probably the majority of games over the festive period I think.”
Meanwhile, Howe also reiterated that Paul Dummett was fighting to return sooner rather than later.
“Paul Dummett is still out long-term, although he is making good progress,” Howe added.
“We’re hopeful to get him back at some stage soon. He has not trained with the group yet.”
How big of a blow is Federico Fernandez’s injury?
A huge blow, especially given the busy and daunting fixture list Howe’s side face in the next 11 days.
Fernandez was a rock at the back on his return to the side against Norwich, and was perhaps unlucky to return to the bench for the visit of Burnley.
After Jamaal Lascelles’ poor showing at Leicester, where he conceded a dubious penalty to James Maddison, supporters were keen for Fernandez to partner Fabian Schar in defence instead.
However, Newcastle will have to make do without the former Swansea City man, instead relying on Lascelles, Fabian Schar and Ciaran Clark.
Emil Krafth can also fill in at centre-halve, while Isaac Hayden, who’s played just 18 minutes under Howe, may also be considered as an option.