NEWCASTLE have been rocked by the news Dwight Gayle could be facing three months out after knee surgery.
The striker, 29, suffered the injury during last Tuesday’s pre-season victory over Crewe.
However, after visiting a specialist on Wednesday, it was discovered he has damaged medial collateral ligaments.
Now the star is set to go under the knife tomorrow and will be sidelined for between 10-12 weeks.
That leaves Toon boss Steve Bruce desperately searching for reinforcements before their Premier League opener with West Ham on September 12.
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Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, who scored eight goals last term as the Cherries were relegated, remains his top target.
And he is ready to throw in Matt Ritchie as part of a deal, although the South Coast club are believed to have already rejected a £15m offer from Aston Villa for the England international.
Gayle was preferred in the Newcastle attack to Joelinton towards the end of the last campaign and scored four and produced two assists in ten starts.
But Andy Carroll is now the only fit striker available to Bruce, whose toothless team were thrashed 5-1 by North East neighbours Middlesbrough this week in a pre-season friendly.
He has a transfer budget off around £30m to spend before the October 5 deadline, although top-flight sides can still do deals with EFL clubs until October 16.
And it may take that whole amount to bring Wilson to St James’ Park.
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