Midway into July, Steve Bruce claimed that Andy Carroll was ‘4-5 weeks away’, with many believing he’d return for our trip to Anfield on September 14th.
We’re now less than a week away from that game away at Liverpool, and Bruce’s latest update on the Carroll front suggests he’s still a little way off being ready for first-team football.
Why? Because Bruce has revealed that he still hasn’t taken part in first team training, hinting that he’ll need ‘a couple of weeks’ with the group before he’ll be deemed fully fit to play.
On the plus side, Bruce states that he’s done ‘good work’ with the club’s rehab team and isn’t feeling ‘sore or swollen’ like he has done in the past – suggesting his ankle surgery was a success – so there are some positives to take despite it seeming pretty clear that his ‘second debut’ won’t be for a good few weeks yet.
Here’s what Bruce had to say when asked for an update on the striker:
“I am never going to put an exact time on it…
“The good thing for the supporters is that there is good work he’s done on the training ground with the rehab and physio people.
“The ankle has had no ill effects.
“He is not sore and not swollen, in the past that has been the case.
“Let’s hope he can come and train with us for a couple of weeks.
“The early signs are encouraging”
So, it’s far to say he won’t make the trip to Anfield and, based on the comments, I’d be surprised if he’s involved against Brighton in just under two weeks time.
Could his first appearance following his return to Tyneside cone at Leicester on the 29th or at home to Man Utd on October 6th? We shall see.
Elsewhere, Saint-Maximin looks set to be missing for another week or two, while Ritchie is expected to be out until November after suffering ankle ligament damage in our Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester last month.