Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has confirmed that Ciaran Clark sustained a ‘pretty serious’ injury during Sunday’s 4-0 defeat at Arsenal.
The Toon travelled to the Emirates Stadium looking to come out of the winter break with the same positive momentum that we entered it with, but would instead suffer our first loss in nine games across all competitions.
Our evening would take another dip in the 83rd-minute, too, when Bruce was forced to bring Clark off after the 30-year-old collided with Bukayo Saka as the Gunners prospect tackled while off balance.
Saka landed heavily on Clark and bent the Republic of Ireland international’s leg, leaving him with no further role to play in the game and needing crutches to leave the ground.
Bruce confirmed after the match that Clark’s ankle was not in a good state, and is now waiting for the results from scans carried out on Monday to show the full extent of the blow.
“It doesn’t look great, the state of his ankle, leaving the ground on crutches,” said the boss, via quotes by the Chronicle. “I can’t say now how bad it is, but it’s bad enough.
“He’s got a bad one. It doesn’t look good. By the state of his ankle, it looks pretty serious. We’ll know more in [the] next 24-48 hours.”
Will Clark's injury be a big blow to our season?
Bruce called on Fabian Schar to replace Clark on Sunday, and the Chronicle expect the Switzerland centre-half will now push to start Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
The blow kept the defender out of our 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers and he could only return to the bench at home to Chelsea, while playing 12 minutes against Everton and none against Norwich City.
Wil-born Schar has been among Bruce’s favoured centre-halves when fit, with the boss starting the £40,000-per-week ace in each of our first nine league games and five of the nine once back from a knee injury sustained in October.
Statistically speaking, Schar returning to the starting XI at Palace on Saturday would come as a boost for Bruce, as the 54-cap international has so far averaged the most successful tackles (2.5), accurate long passes (4.8) and second-most interceptions (2.3) and passes blocked (0.8) per 90 league minutes of our centre-halves, per WhoScored data.
In other Newcastle United news, Bruce has met with a 22-cap man keen to join in a permanent deal but did not discuss any potential transfer.