NEWCASTLE United’s Tim Krul is battling to be fit to face Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby.
The goalkeeper suffered an ankle injury in training this week and missed yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham United.
And Newcastle manager Alan Pardew expects Krul to miss the next “four or five” fixtures.
Rob Elliot – who played at Upton Park – will deputise in the meantime.
Elliot will be in goal against Burnley, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, and possibly also for the derby against Sunderland at St James’s Park on December 21.
“Rob Elliot will be in goal for the next four or five games,” Pardew told BBC Sport.
“It’s been blow after blow this year, but we’ve rode them, and that’s been the key to our success.
“We’ve put younger players in. We lose Tim, but Rob’s produced a super performance.”