The 24-cap Slovakia international has been out of action for the Magpies at the start of the campaign through a heel injury. Dubravka suffered a setback in his recovery from surgery on that injury which means that he is believed to be side-lined until at least December, per The Times.
Smith update outlines keeper’s struggles
Dubravka had been Newcastle’s undisputed number one keeper for the last two full seasons before suffering the injury which has ruled him out at the start of the campaign. The 31-year-old delivered a string of impressive performances last term, making the most saves in the league (Premierleague.com). That form saw him labelled as ‘superb’ by pundit Danny Mills.
In the keeper’s absence, Karl Darlow has stepped up to the plate and delivered some impressive performances of his own, averaging 5.2 saves per game so far this term (Sofascore). However, he has also suffered his own recent injury scare after a collision with Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, which had made him a doubt for the Wolves game.
Taking to his personal Twitter account, Smith revealed that Dubravka has been suffering through the injury and that his recovery has indeed been set back longer than was first anticipated. However, he also insisted he is putting in the work needed to get back to action.
He wrote: “Martin’s injury is taking slightly longer than expected but anyone who has suffered ‘plantar fasciitis’ knows it takes time. He is working hard in the gym to maintain fitness and I am looking forward to having him back on the grass asap!”
Dubravka’s return needed despite Darlow’s form
Darlow has been in good form since stepping up to replace Dubravka at the start of the season, which has even seen him emerge on England’s radar, per Chronicle Live. However, the keeper was arguably at fault for Wolves’ goal in the 1-1 draw on Sunday after allowing Raul Jimenez’s effort to find the back of net despite getting a strong hand to it.
Dubravka is still needed between the sticks in those crucial match-defining moments. The Slovakian is an excellent professional and as outlined by Smith will be doing all he can to return as swiftly as possible. It is crucial though that the Magpies do not rush him back with an injury that could easily be exacerbated.
In other news, find out which member of the group connected to the proposed takeover at Newcastle was left celebrating the latest major development here!
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