By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Australian ace Bradden Inman may need to go under the knife after suffering a knee injury while playing for the Reserves.
The 20-year-old midfielder limped off against Leeds in last week's practice match at Elland Road, and is now set to be out of action for at least two or three months.
And if he does require an operation to heal the damage to his left knee, Inman - who has twice been on the bench for the first-team, against Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League in January 2009 and at Peterborough in the Carling Cup in September of the same year - could be out for even longer.
The Adelaide-born youngster told nufc.co.uk: "Their player had the ball and went to clear, but I stuck my leg in the way and he connected with it. All of my weight went on it and I fell to the ground - I knew straight away that I'd done something to it.
"As soon as I tried to walk, I felt that it had stiffened up and it was causing me a lot of pain. I came back to the training ground after the game and Michael (Harding, physio) had another look at it, and then the doc (Paul Catterson).
"I had a scan on Thursday, and I'm having ultrasound this week to find out the full details - and to find out if I need an operation.
"Obviously, an operation might mean longer out so that would be devastating for me because I just want to get back playing again as soon as possible.
"It's the worst injury I've had. I had an ankle ligament injury two seasons ago, but this has to be the worst. It's hard to deal with."
Inman scored both goals in the quarter-finals of the Sage Northumberland FA Senior Cup win over Ashington, but will now miss the semi-final against Bedlington later this month, as well as this week's second-string game at Manchester United.
He said: "Obviously you enjoy playing against Man U, because they have some of the best youngsters around, so it's good to compare yourself.
"And in the Senior Cup, I'd scored in the last round so it would have been good to keep going. But hopefully the lads can win and get to the final."