Newcastle boss Steve Bruce said Premier League clubs “are falling to pieces” after three of his players suffered injuries in the win over Southampton.
Right-back Javier Manquillo and top scorer Callum Wilson both departed with knocks before half-time of Saturday’s 3-2 victory at St James’ Park.
An injury to defender Fabian Schar, after they had already made their third substitution, ensured the hosts played the last 18 minutes with nine men, because Jeff Hendrick had been sent off for two bookings on 50 minutes.
“It’s one step forward, two steps back at the minute,” said Bruce.
“Javier Manquillo looks like he’s done his ankle ligaments. Fabian Schar looks like he’s done his knee – that could be pretty serious.
“Callum Wilson is another one, we don’t know how bad it is. The amount of games we’re playing at the moment is ridiculous.”
Since taking charge of Newcastle in July 2019, Bruce has been forced to make two or more first-half substitutions on three occasions – no other English top-flight club has done so more than once.
According to Premier Injuries, which compiles a database of injuries in the Premier League, Newcastle have seven players out. That compares with an average across the division of 4.7 players out per squad.
“You can understand why managers were complaining,” added Bruce.
“We were simply playing too much in December and January and most clubs are falling to pieces with it.”
Newcastle’s seven injuries are surpassed only by Liverpool (eight) and Crystal Palace (10).
Research conducted by artificial intelligence platform Zone7, which specialises in injury risk forecasting and works with 35 professional football teams worldwide, shows that playing eight matches in a 30-day period increases the incidence of injury by 25% when compared with playing four to five matches in the same timeframe.
The Magpies have played their past eight matches over 28 days.