Andy Carroll looks set to make the squad for Saturday’s game with Brighton – but only if he manages to complete a full week of training on Tyneside.
Bruce has confirmed that he got the green light to return to full first-team training sessions on Friday, however his ability to come through those unscathed will be key if he’s to earn a place on the bench on Saturday.
The club’s head coach claims it’s a “big week for him on the training pitch”, with the Chronicle’s Ciaran Kelly also having this to say ahead of his potential ‘second debut’ today:
‘Andy Carroll got the nod from his London specialist on Friday and the Newcastle United striker has a crucial few days of training ahead of him.
‘Steve Bruce said on Friday if that appointment went well, Carroll could be in line to be named among the Magpies’ substitutes against Brighton.
‘Carroll took part in the non contact sections of training last week – the warm-up, boxes and possession drills – and his ankle has had no adverse reaction so the obvious next step is getting involved in the thick of the action at Benton.‘
He seems to be progressing very well, with his ankle coming through unscathed in ‘non-contact’ training sessions last week, but his potential involvement this weekend will all come down to how he manages to step things up over the coming 48 hours or so.
If he’s involved in contact sessions and suffers no flare up it seems he’ll be named among the substitutes on Saturday – something that would given all of St James’ Park a real pre-match boost – but Bruce will not be taking any risks if any concerns arise in training.
After all, the 30-year-old hasn’t played since February and must be protected – even if we are crying out for some added firepower from the bench.