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Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot flew back to the north-east on Wednesday morning bracing himself for a definite verdict on his knee injury.
The 28-year-old was carried from the field on a stretcher after twisting his knee as he attempted to make a save just 14 minutes into the Republic of Ireland's 2-2 friendly draw with Slovakia at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening, and manager Martin O'Neill later revealed the early indications were he had suffered "serious" ligament damage.
Elliot was taken to Dublin's Mater Hospital for a scan while the game was ongoing, but later returned to the team hotel in Castleknock.
He jetted back to Tyneside, accompanied by Ireland team-mate and Sunderland skipper John O'Shea, wearing a knee brace and walking with the aid of crutches on Wednesday morning and was due to undergo a second scan once back in the care of his club.
Should the damage be as severe as first feared, Elliot's participation in the last eight games of Newcastle's fight for Barclays Premier League survival and beyond that, the Euro 2016 finals, would be in genuine jeopardy.
The Magpies face fellow relegation candidates Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday with first-choice keeper Tim Krul already out for the season and Karl Darlow and teenager Freddie Woodman waiting in the wings.
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