The club’s official website released pictures of the players in training on Thursday and there was one noticeable absentee – Sean Longstaff.
The 21-year-old midfielder missed last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool after suffering a ‘freak’ ankle injury in training, however it was reported earlier this week by TWO north-east reporters that he’s expected to return this weekend.
Both the Mail’s Craig Hope and the Daily Star’s Ian Murtagh suggested that he would be fit to return against Brighton this weekend, but his absence from training on Thursday suggests otherwise.
On the plus side, Andy Carroll, Fabian Schar and DeAndre Yedlin all took part in the session, while Dwight Gayle appears to have done some light work – despite claims he was having a period of complete rest.
Matt Ritchie, Allan Saint-Maximin and Florian Lejeune are nowhere to be seen in the training photos, but Lejeune’s latest post on social media suggests he and his fellow Frenchman will be back with the first-team group soon.
As for Sean Longstaff, time will tell if he really is out of tomorrow’s crucial game, with Steve Bruce’s press conference later this morning likely to clear that up.