Tim Krul has been ruled out of action for five weeks after sustaining an ankle injury in the waning moments of Newcastle's 1-0 victory over Metalist Kharkiv Thursday, according to Simon Pryde of BBC Newcastle.
Rob Elliot, who to this point has no Premier League experience, will be his replacement, rather than the 37 year-old Steve Harper. If Krul misses exactly 5 weeks, Elliot will be between the posts for home dates with Southampton and Stoke City, away at Swansea City and Wigan Athletic, and a home and away tie with Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League, with Krul returning just in time to face Manchester City at Etihad Stadium. It's not a murderer's row of fixtures, but it is a full schedule of quality teams just the same. Elliot only has cup and preseason experience to draw on so far in his Newcastle career. Peter Beardsley has been been especially complimentary of his performances with the reserve squad since his acquisition, and in the limited time we have had to observe him, he has shown improvement. Now is the time for him to prove that he can be a quality Premier League backup. As we saw Thursday, filling Tim Krul's boots will not be easy.