When Newcastle centre-back, Florian Lejeune, collapsed in a heap following an innocuous looking challenge, fans immediately feared the worst for the player, who has suffered two previous long-term injuries in his short career on Tyneside.
The incident happened right next to the touchline, and when players from both sides, as well as fans in the front rows, are all immediately calling for a stretcher, you suspect it is something serious.
The problem was in the opposite knee to that which he suffered cruciate ligament damage to earlier this season, but the likely prognosis could be a similar issue.
The news out of Newcastle (confirmed on their official site) yesterday, was that the player would be going for a scan to determine the severity of the damage, but the signs did not look promising.
Rafa Benitez was still trying to find a bright side, when he said to the Newcastle Chronicle earlier: “For now, he is very down, we have to wait and see if he is a little bit lucky, but it looks serious.
“Hopefully it won’t be too serious. I think he is a strong character, he was working so hard to get fit and he will have that same determination this time.”
But both Rafa’s, and the fans’, worst fears were confirmed by the football club today, when they released a statement confirming Lejeune would miss the rest of the season through a “significant knee injury”, but did not provide any precise details of what that injury is.
Fans were quick to take to Twitter to react to the loss of, widely considered, their most influential defender, with concerns and well-wishes.
— KDLToon (@Toon_KDL) April 8, 2019
Got to fear for Lejeune now unfortunately
2 cruciates in 2 years….both knee’s now affected.
At 28/29 by the time he’s back on the pitch, it will be really difficult to come back the same player but we have to hold the belief that he can!!! #NUFC
— The Geordie Boot Boy #NUFC (@BootsGeordie) April 8, 2019
Man’s got knees made of weetabix
— Christopher Beck (@TweetingBeck) April 8, 2019
Sorry to hear that. It looked like a bad one on Saturday & it sounds like he could be out for a lengthy period of time. In my view he is an important player for us, I wish him well and hope he makes a full recovery.
— Peter Moran (@PJAMESM1) April 8, 2019
absolutely gutted for him, get well soon @lejeune_florian
— Paul Kearney (@p_kearney92) April 8, 2019
Best of luck in the recovery and rehab dude, stay strong.
— In Oxford (@Oxford_Life) April 8, 2019
All the best @lejeune_florian wish you a speedy recovery
— shaun johnston (@shauni46) April 8, 2019
What are your thoughts on the loss of you key defender, Newcastle fans? Should Rafa now revert to four at the back, or will he put someone else in there? Let us know your thoughts…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!