Steve Bruce calls on under-30s to get Covid vaccine after Karl Darlow’s illness
Darlow would have been in line to start Sunday’s Premier League opener against West Ham at St James’ Park with number one Martin Dubravka injured but the 30-year-old, who was admitted to hospital for almost a week, has been ruled out by the toll the illness has taken on his body, including the loss of a stone and a half in weight.
He is the latest Magpies player to be struck down by coronavirus – skipper Jamaal Lascelles, fellow defender Federico Fernandez and striker Allan Saint-Maximin all had spells out of action last season – and their experience has left Bruce in little doubt as to the impact the illness can have.
He said: “It’s well documented that he’s been suffering with Covid and for any young people out there who are not having this jab, there’s a prime example.
“Karl found himself in hospital for the best part of a week, he’s dropped over a stone and a half in weight and it’s really knocked him around.
“There’s a 30-year-old who was hospitalised by this thing – young, fit, healthy and it’s left him in a very, very poorly situation.
“He’s getting bit by bit a little bit stronger, but it basically wiped him out, so just because you’re under the age of 30, you’re not immune to it.
“There we have evidence in our squad of how sick even young people can get. We’ll give him as much time as he wants.”
In the absence of Dubravka and Darlow, 24-year-old Freddie Woodman is in line to make his Premier League debut against the Hammers.
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox