According to the Daily Star, both Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey are yet to resume full training this week, with both said to be facing a ‘race against the clock’ to be fit for Saturday’s big game against Crystal Palace.
Shelvey has missed the last month with a calf injury that still appears to be causing him problems (despite his place on the bench last weekend) and Lascelles appears to have suffered a reoccurrence of his recent ankle injury.
Despite our tough set of opening fixtures, it’s still a concern to see us without a win and sitting second bottom in the table – and those concerns may only heighten if two of our most influential players are ruled out of Saturday’s game.
It was reported yesterday in The Chronicle that Rafa was ‘unsure’ whether either would be fit in time, but the Daily Star’s latest update suggests that they’re looking more likely than not to miss out:
‘Toon chief Rafa Benitez is desperate to have arguably his two most influential players available as the struggling Magpies seek their first win of the season. But neither has resumed full training yet and remain doubts for the weekend.
‘Though Shelvey was deemed fit enough to be named as a substitute against Arsenal, Benitez decided against risking him despite Newcastle’s lack of creativity in their 2-1 defeat.
‘While the midfielder’s calf injury is not serious, it has kept him out for the past month and is still troubling him.
‘Club captain Lascelles suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury while warming up before the Arsenal game. He played through the pain barrier for 45 minutes but could not carry on.
‘Like Shelvey, he is not expected to be out long-term but has been restricted to light training in recent days.’
Hopefully they can make a late return to training and make Saturday’s all important game at Selhurst Park, although last weekend’s game with Arsenal perhaps proved that Rafa rarely takes risks when it comes to fitness.
That being said, do we really see us getting a result if these two are missing? Our most creative player and our best defender seem feel pretty essential to me..