NEWCASTLE duo Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin reportedly face an indefinite spell on the sidelines due to the long-term effects of Covid-19.
The Magpies’ Premier League clash against Aston Villa was postponed earlier this month following an outbreak at the club.
According to Sky Sports, captain Lascelles and attacker Saint-Maximin are among those to have been struck down.
They have not trained since testing positive and there appears to be no timescale for their return.
Lascelles and Saint-Maximin last turned out for Newcastle in the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on November 21.
Magpies gaffer Steve Bruce confessed it was “frightening” for the duo.
Speaking on Friday ahead of Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with Fulham, Bruce said: “My thoughts are with the two players, and the welfare of them.
“It’s frightening when you think they are young and fit and absolutely supreme athletes. If anybody needs reminding of how serious this is, then we have witnessed it.
“We’ve had vomiting, sores, mouth ulcers, no smell, no taste, but the big thing, and which is the worrying thing, is the welfare of one or two of them. It’s not great at all.
“That long-term Covid is something which you wouldn’t think possible in young, fit, athletes. Unfortunately, it is so.
“They go for a walk for half an hour and then they want to go back to bed. It’s as brutal as that.
“The fatigue is the one thing that has hit them all. For two of them, it’s beyond that.
“We hope there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but some are finding it a struggle.”
The 25-year-old told talkSPORT: “It took me by surprise, to be honest, how badly it affected me.
“I definitely underestimated it.
“I was thinking, ‘I’m a young and healthy athlete, if I have it I’d be asymptomatic and I’d be fine’.
“But it was tough; I was in bed for seven to ten days, doing very little and having pretty much every symptom going. It was very difficult.”