Albion are sweating on a serious injury scare for Alan Navarro.

The influential midfielder was stretchered off early in the second half of last night’s 2-0 Carling Cup defeat at Northampton.

Navarro left the Sixfields Stadium on crutches and will have a scan today on his damaged right knee. The Liverpudlian, brought on for the second half, had only been on the pitch for ten minutes when he collapsed in agony after twisting awkwardly.

Manager Gus Poyet said: “It’s a shame for everyone because he is a key player for us. He was a key player last year and he has been a key player until now. I hope it is nothing serious, something that looks bad but is not.”

Navarro’s injury compounded a first half red card for fellow midfielder Matt Sparrow. The two-goal hero of Saturday’s opening victory at Swindon was sent off for pushing Abdul Osman to the ground and now faces a three match suspension.

Poyet said: “I don’t know if he deserved the red. I was just looking at the ref and the next thing I saw was a card. I don’t think Matt is trying to make an excuse. He didn’t say anything to me, nothing at all.

“From what we think it was and from what Tanno (assistant Mauricio Taricco) told me maybe we won’t appeal but if I see from the video there was nothing in it then we will.”