Some troubling claims have emerged from Spanish newspaper Diario AS this morning, who report that Mikel Merino is set to be out of action for up to two months, stating that he is having ‘some problems with a vertebrae’.
These reports are unconfirmed, with Rafa Benitez remaining coy on the extent of his injury that has kept him out of our last two matchday squads, however this is concerning to hear given the midfielder’s influence so far this season in the NUFC engine room.
Spanish outlet Diario AS claim Newcastle midfielder Mikel Merino will be sidelined for between 6-8 weeks due to what they describe as 'problems with a vertebrae'. Officially, Benitez is yet to confirm the extent of the injury. #NUFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) November 9, 2017
Prior to these claims from Spain today, it was suggested by Benitez that Merino would be missing for ‘at least’ a few weeks, ruling him out of upcoming fixtures with Manchester United and Watford, however the Spaniard would be out until at least Christmas if news that he is set to be missing for ‘6-8 weeks’ is to be believed.
With Shelvey and Hayden capable options in central midfield, we have options available to cope with his absence, however it leaves us a little threadbare in that area, with Diame and Saivet not the most convincing of replacements if anything did happen to the previously mentioned first-team duo.
After two defeats in a row in the league, this is not the news we wanted to hear, but hopefully we can get an official and slightly more positive update from Benitez himself in the coming days to clear up these suggestions from Spain.