Not only has Rafa Benitez confirmed that Shelvey and Clark will miss tomorrow’s game through injury, but he’s also revealed that the Fulham game will be Ki-sung-yueng’s last before he heads off to the Asian Cup.
On a positive note, Benitez has confirmed that Federico Fernandez is now ‘fine’ and fit to play after missing the last game and a half following a calf injury.
It’s bad news on Ki, however, with South Korea clearly taking the option to call him up early so he can train with the squad ahead of next month’s tournament (which Muto will also be taking part in with Japan).
Here’s what Rafa’s said, starting with Ki:
“Ki will play this game then afterwards he will go because he is going to training in Abu Dhabi on December 26.
“I wanted to keep him longer but no chance.
“He was a very good option, but hopefully Jonjo comes back sooner rather than later”
It’s a real blow, this. Shelvey could be back soon by the sounds of things but we only have Hayden and Longstaff in reserve.
Here’s what Rafa’s also had to say on the injury front:
“Fernandez is fine. Shelvey is still progressing and improving, little by little, and Clark had a little problem with his ankle after the Huddersfield game and is also not available.
“Lejeune has been training but Darlow still has a little problem with his elbow.”
A real case of good news and bad news here, with Fernandez back, Shelvey edging closer, but Ki now set to be missing for potentially 5 or 6 weeks.