Some bad news on the injury front today, with Rafa Benitez confirming that midfield maestro Mikel Merino is OUT of tomorrow’s game with Bournemouth, stating he will be missing for ‘at least’ a couple of weeks.
Benitez opened up about the injury in his pre-match press conference today ahead of our game with Bournemouth, confirming that Merino picked up the back injury in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool last month.
Not only has Rafa confirmed the Spaniard will be out of tomorrow’s game, he suggested the midfielder will be missing for several weeks – meaning he could miss our away trip to Old Trafford after the international break in two weeks:
“Mikel Merino will be out for at least a couple of weeks, we still need to wait to see.
“The problem is his lower back.
“He felt it against Liverpool originally.”
The £7 signing has now been withdrawn from the Spanish U-21 squad for the upcoming international break and will miss the game with Bournemouth tomorrow – meaning we’re likely to see a return of Isaac Hayden, who could partner Jonjo Shelvey in midfield.
A blow for NUFC, but the international break will at least give him some more time to recover before we face Manchester United away and Watford at home in the weeks that follow.