The Magpies star suffered an injury in pre-season and is expected to be sidelined until after the World Cup.
What happened to Newcastle?
It’s been a promising start to the campaign for the Toon Army, who are one of two teams yet to concede, the other being Manchester City who they face this afternoon.
Newcastle kicked off the season with a 2-0 victory against Nottingham Forest before holding Brighton to a goalless draw last weekend thanks to an inspired performance from Nick Pope.
But Howe’s side are doing all of this without captain Shelvey, who’s yet to play a single minute after suffering a hamstring problem against Benfica back in July.
Such is the injury, the Daily Mail claimed that Shelvey has already had surgery on the issue and is facing around 12 weeks out.
The report claims that Newcastle were hoping the injury wasn’t as bad as first feared, but following a meeting with the specialist, they received the news that the England international would be forced to undergo the knife in order to repair the problem.
Howe has made only three signings this window and is yet to bring in any midfield reinforcements, which could change after Shelvey’s setback, which Downie believes is a major blow to the north east club.
What did Downie say about Shelvey?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s a huge blow for Newcastle because they were settled on a midfield five and it now just leaves them a little light in there.”
When could Shelvey return to action?
12 weeks from when the news broke takes Shelvey to the beginning of November, which would be fine in normal Premier League season, but with the World Cup getting underway later that month, the ex-Liverpool star might not be back in competitive action until Boxing Day.
Newcastle’s final league game before the season pauses is against Chelsea on 12 November and unless Shelvey is way ahead of schedule, he’s unlikely to be risked before then.
Therefore, it’s looking likely that he’ll be aiming to make his comeback for the festive period, starting with the trip to Leicester on the 26 December.
Should that prove the case, Shelvey will end up missing the Magpies’ opening 16 Premier League fixtures.