Martin Dubravka has revealed that he trained on his injured ankle with Newcastle last week before being ruled out for two months, robbing Steve Bruce of his player of the year.
The loss of the goalkeeper is a huge blow for the head coach, who will now turn to Karl Darlow some two-and-a-half years after his last Premier League game.
But Dubravka says he aggravated an existing concern at the club’s training camp in York and was then operated on in Leeds.
‘During the penultimate run in Slovakia before leaving for England, when I was fulfilling the set individual plan, I injured my ankle,’ said the 31-year-old.
‘I felt a sting or a half-rupture. I immediately informed the coaches in Newcastle. After arriving in England, I still trained, despite the pain, but after three days I had to stop. A scan revealed damage to the ligaments, and I’ve already had a small operation in Leeds.
‘Unfortunately, I have a crack there, which requires a break of about six to eight weeks. I believe that, despite the fact that I was still training after the injury, we caught it all early enough.’
The injury means Dubravka is likely to miss Slovakia’s Euro 2020 playoff against Republic of Ireland in October.
Jeff Hendrick will be part of the Ireland side and Newcastle’s summer signing has dismissed claims that his form for his country has fallen away since his Euro 2016 breakthrough.
‘People always say I have not shown up since then and that’s crazy, because I’ve probably played 34 times for Ireland since then,’ he said.
‘If you look back, I’ve had some really good games.’