According to the Chronicle’s Mark Douglas, Newcastle’s coaching staff are concerned about Allan Saint-Maximin’s lack of pre-season and could delay his comeback until mid-October as a result.
After aggravating a hamstring injury in that 1-0 win at Spurs last month, it was claimed a fortnight ago that the Frenchman would miss ‘3-5 weeks’ with a ‘grade one’ hamstring strain.
Two weeks on and the Chronicle’s Mark Douglas claims that the ‘earliest’ return date looks set to be our clash with Chelsea on October 19th – and ‘not any sooner’ – suggesting he’s still some way off being fully fit.
Here’s what Douglas had to say about the 22-year-old when asked for an injury update during a Q&A:
‘Brighton (September 21st) will be far too early for Allan Saint-Maximin.
‘At the earliest I could see him playing a part against Chelsea (October 19) and not any sooner.
‘That’s because there’s a concern in the coaching staff that he’s not had much of a pre-season due to injury.
‘They won’t rush him back this time.’
If this proves to be true, this would mean he’ll have been out for around 8 weeks, and will miss upcoming games against Liverpool, Brighton, Leicester and Man Utd – not to mention the fact he’s already sat out of our last two against Leicester and Watford.
Regarding our ‘concerns’ about his fitness and lack of pre-season, it’s worth mentioning he start (and score!) in Nice’s games against PSV and Burnley, also coming on from the bench at Cardiff in July.
His pre-season programme was disrupted – and links with a move to Tyneside won’t have helped that – but he did play three games for Nice and featured in our final friendly against Saint-Etienne at St James’ Park, which is much more than fellow NUFC winger Christian Atsu managed.
Let’s hope he can make good progress in training over the next few weeks and return 100% fit this time, with us all desperate to see our new £16m man in action after just 40 minutes of action so far this season.