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The Premier League are closely monitoring the conjunctivitis health scare at Newcastle which could result in the postponement of their Barclays Premiership opener against Middlesbrough this Saturday.
Five players - Shay Given, Lee Bowyer, Andy O'Brien, Tony Caig and Laurent Robert - are all sidelined, with the latter the latest to withdraw from training on Monday.
The critical situation has resulted in the club's training complex being closed down, with players forced to change in their cars, while fans have been banned from collecting autographs.
The Premier League are currently looking into the public health issue and it is understood if there is a high-risk factor then it is almost certain the match at the Riverside will be called off.