Steve Bruce has revealed that Allan Saint-Maximin may not return to action until the ‘end of the month’, insisting he won’t rush the Frenchman back despite his return to training this week.
The absence of Saint-Maximin, who has become a fan favourite since his arriving from Nice, has been a huge miss for Newcastle over the festive period, with the side losing 4 of the 6 games he has not featured in – picking up just 1 win.
It was hugely positive to see the 22-year-old back training with the first team this week following his latest hamstring injury, but it seems Bruce will ‘err on the side of caution’ when it comes to his return to action in a bid to prevent any further complications:
“It’s good to see him out on the grass and training a bit, of course. And the crucial thing is that the management of him now is key for us.
“We’re glad to see him back in, I will err on (the side of) caution because of the severity of a hamstring.
“When you’ve been out four, five weeks with it then we’ll just make steady progress, and hope he’s right by, obviously, the end of the month.”
He’s already been ruled out of today’s game, but Bruce’s comments appear to rule out any chance of him appearing in the FA Cup replay with Rochdale and likely even Chelsea next weekend.
An ideal return for the winger could be the away trip to Everton on the 21st or the home fixture against Norwich on the 1st February at the very latest.
The sooner we get Saint-Maximin fit and causing havoc down that wing the better – his pace, skill and ability to beat a man offer something to this Newcastle side we’ve not had for years.
We have looked toothless going forward in recent weeks, but with Almiron finding some goalscoring form, the thought of both linking up gives us Toon fans something to be excited about again.