Steve Bruce has revealed his plan to bring Florian Lejeune back into the first-team fold AFTER the next international break.
This means the Frenchman will likely miss out on upcoming games against Wolves, West Ham and Bournemouth, however Bruce has suggested the centre-back could return to the NUFC squad for the first time when we travel to Aston Villa at the end of November.
The Chronicle also reveal that the Newcastle boss plans to play Lejeune in a behind-closed-doors game before easing him back into his first-team plans following his latest ACL injury.
Here’s what the 58-year-old has had to say about the ex-Eibar star:
“I think Sunday will be too early.
“The big thing with Flo was it’s been a cruciate (ligament) and I would like to see him get something behind closed doors – a game of some sort.
“I’ve set a target of maybe after the international break with Flo.
“He’s made great progress.”
Bruce has also had his say on Matt Ritchie – who’s been out of action for two months with ankle ligament damage.
He hints that this weekend’s with Wolves ‘might be a little too early’ for the wing-back, but confirms he’s now trained over the last two days:
“Matt Ritchie did a week’s intensive course, last week – fitness levels.
“He’s trained for two days but we mustn’t forget he’s been out for two months, as well.
“So, great to see them back in, and in and around it.
“The weekend, I would think, might be a little too early.”
The Chronicle insist that Ritchie is pushing hard behind the scenes in a bid to be fit for Sunday, however, with him having a few sessions left to prove his fitness.