North-East reporter Craig Hope has confirmed Andy Carroll will miss Saturday’s trip to Liverpool, claiming our game at Leicester on September 29th is now a “realistic target” for the striker.
His piece for the Mail states that Carroll is yet to take part in first-team training sessions and, as a result, he won’t make the squad this weekend – despite the club initially pencilling in this fixture as his predicted return date.
That said, Craig Hope insists that there’s been ‘no setback’ during his rehab following ankle surgery in April, but it seems Bruce won’t risk him until he’s proven his fitness during full training sessions with the first-team.
Here’s a snippet from his latest piece for the Daily Mail:
‘Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is set to miss his return to Liverpool this Saturday as he continues to recover from ankle surgery.
‘The Magpies had been hopeful that this fixture would mark the 30-year-old’s comeback after signing him on a free transfer on deadline day.
‘But, as of the weekend, he had not joined in a session with his team-mates and sources say it is extremely unlikely he will figure at Liverpool, the club he joined from Newcastle for £35million in 2011.
‘Carroll has been working with the club’s physios and fitness coaches for the past month but, despite encouraging noises from boss Steve Bruce, his return to action is not imminent.
‘There has been no setback during his rehab – he had surgery in April – but he will have to prove his fitness in full training before he is considered for a place on the bench.
‘Indeed, it could well be that the trip to Leicester at the end of this month is a more realistic target for Carroll’s return.‘
So, it looks almost certain that there’ll be no return to Liverpool for him on Saturday, with the visit of Brighton in just under two weeks time also likely to come too soon for him.
Hopefully he’s out on the training pitch soon and comes through that unscathed over the next few weeks.
With this in mind, his ‘second debut’ at St James’ Park could well come against Manchester United on October 6th – a week on from his potential return at Leicester on September 29th.