Date: 9th November 2017 at 8:33pm
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Star midfielder Mikel Merino could face up to eight weeks on the sideline with a back injury, reports Spanish media outlet Diario AS.

The former Borussia Dortmund man, who signed for the Magpies earlier in the year, sustained the injury at the end of last month, and while it was thought he may only face a week or two out, it is now claimed it could be as long as a couple of months before the Spaniard returns to action.

Diario AS (via Sports Witness) claim that Merino has sustained a serious problem with his vertebrae hence the lengthy recovery period, although such claims have not been validated by sources at Newcastle nor manager Rafael Benitez.

Should he indeed be sidelined for as long as the Spanish outlet claim, it would not only be a huge blow for the Magpies, with Merino being the stand-out player in what has been a solid start to the new campaign, but also for the Spain U21 national team, who have a host of European Championship qualifying matches scheduled over the coming months.