The Shields Gazette is reporting that the ailment that kept Rob Elliot out of the second half of Newcastle's 3-0 victory over Bordeaux on Thursday was a groin injury, which should probably keep him out a couple of weeks. And since Tim Krul is out at least one more week with his elbow injury, Newcastle will be forced to reach down into their reserve squad to find a backup keeper for Sunday's match with Manchester United. Jak Alnwick, a 19 year-old from Hexham, will be called into action should anything happen to Steve Harper.
Alnwick was last seen in action for the reserves on Wednesday, when he conceded 3 goals to the York City reserves. The story placed on the official website announcing Alnwick's appearance describes him as being in "superb form" this season, but he hasn't produced a clean sheet in the last 6 matches for the second team. Perhaps it's a problem with the back line and he really is a fantastic shotstopper (or will be one in the future), but that doesn't mean he's ready for the bright lights. Luckily, Newcastle have a two week break after this match, so perhaps either Krul or Elliot will be ready to go for the derby.