Steve Bruce has confirmed that Allan Saint-Maximin has a problem with his hamstring, with several local reporters revealing that he’s now a ‘major doubt’ for tomorrow’s trip to Norwich.
Elsewhere, Jonjo Shelvey looks set to be fit in time for the game at Carrow Road, however Bruce has confirmed that attacking trio Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle and Christian Atsu are all ‘still a little bit off yet’ as far as their return to first-team action is concerned.
While they’re not mentioned, both Florian Lejeune (knee) and DeAndre Yedlin (groin) will also miss out this weekend, with both still recovering from surgery.
Here’s what the NUFC head coach has had to say in the last few moments when speaking to the press, confirming that Saint-Maximin will be assessed today after complaining of a tight hamstring earlier this week:
“I think Jonjo Shelvey’s going to be OK, touch wood. At this moment, we have a problem with Saint-Maximin – we don’t know how bad his hamstring is but it was a bit tight after training on Monday or Tuesday. We’ll see how he is today.”
“Of the long term injuries – Carroll, Gayle, Atsu – they’re still a little bit off yet.”
This ties in with an article we wrote earlier this week, with us noticing that the Frenchman was nowhere to be seen in any of the training photos posted by the club on Wednesday.
Hopefully he recovers quickly and it proves to be a very minor complaint, although I can’t see him being risked on Saturday now:
It sounds like Shelvey will make the game, but Bruce’s ‘touch wood’ comment makes me slightly cautious, with Jonjo being criticised in the past for rushing back from injury and only doing more damage in the long term.
As for Carroll, it sound Bruce also confirmed that the 30-year-old has been out running, but insists he’s still ‘four or five’ weeks away from returning:
“He’s done a bit of running on the grass. He’s still at least four or five weeks away, but I’m sure he’s going to have a big part to play.”
With the injury news in mind, it looks very likely that we’ll be unchanged on Saturday, with the following team likely to start:
(3-5-2) – Dubravka – Schar, Lascelles, Dummett – Manquillo, Hayden, Shelvey, Longstaff, Ritchie – Almiron, Joelinton.
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About Olly Hawkins
Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.