Eddie Howe has revealed that Nick Pope is likely to be sidelined for around four months and is set to undergo surgery on the dislocated shoulder the goalkeeper sustained in Newcastle United's 1-0 win over Manchester United on Saturday.
"I’m awaiting final news on what’s going to happen. We anticipate he’ll be operated on and there’s no doubt he needs an operation so he’ll be out for a period of time.
“The operation hasn’t happened yet but we’re thinking roughly around four months so a big blow to us but one we expected after the game as soon as you saw the dislocation. We were fearing the worst.
“I think he’d been in the best form that he's been in since being at the football club. He’s naturally down because it’s at a stage where we have so many games, with huge games coming up. He’s got the Euros ahead of him which he was determined to try and be involved in and there’s still a chance for that for him.
Pope had to be replaced by Martin Dubravka in the 86th minute after falling awkwardly while saving a shot.
It is not the first time Pope has suffered such an injury, as he was forced to miss the entire 2018/19 campaign while at Burnley as a result of the same problem.
Howe was keen to stress that he has full belief in Dubravka's ability to ably deputise for Pope over the coming period.
“We really believe in Martin. I’ve always had that high opinion of him," he added.
"Yes, we brought in Nick and wanted to build competition for places and a squad that we felt could really carry us to great success but Martin is a high-class goalkeeper.
“He’s a brilliant shot-stopper and very good with his feet and distribution so no hesitation about bringing Martin into the team and I hope he does really well."
Pope joins a growing injury list for Howe's team which includes Jacob Murphy, who also suffered a dislocated shoulder, while Callum Wilson (hamstring) and defender Dan Burn (back) are among those sidelined.