Davide Santon is out until at least September with a knee injury, according to Miles Starforth of the Shields-Gazette. Santon, who has been pegged by many outside of the club to be the best internal replacement for departed right back Mathieu Debuchy, will miss all of the preseason and presumably more than that. Whether Alan Pardew had plans to play him outside of his natural position is anybody's guess, but he won't have the opportunity to do so now.
Newcastle is now left with just three natural full backs in the senior squad, all of whom play on the left side: Massadio Haidara, Paul Dummett, and Ryan Taylor. The Magpies have been publicly negotiating with Feyenoord for the services of Daryl Janmaat, who featured in the Netherlands' victory over Brazil on Saturday, but some reports have the two clubs over £2 million apart. Feyenoord certainly have no reason to drop their price now, as the Toon will (or should be) desperate to bring in a quality player at the position.
Somebody will have to play at right back for Newcastle's preseason match with Oldham Athletic on Tuesday, and whoever gets the nod might just have the chance to win the job outright. In any case, depth at this position was a priority before Santon went down, and becomes even more of one now. Starforth didn't report the nature of Santon's injury, so we don't know how long it will linger, if at all, but he's had his share of injury troubles over the past year. Counting on full health from him in any case is ill-advised.
The preseason hasn't even officially started yet, and we've already got our first injury. With 8 matches on the docket before the season opens in less than five weeks, Newcastle will be lucky if Santon is the only player to go down before 16 August.