Steve Bruce has shared an update on the injury front this morning, and it’s mixed news ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Chelsea at St James’ Park.
On the plus side, it looks like Allan Saint-Maximin could return for the first time in over a month, but Paul Dummett looks set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a ‘nasty’ injury at Wolves last weekend.
Here’s what Bruce has had to say on the fitness front today:
“We’ve still got a few out but we’ve got a few coming back which is good. Allan Saint-Maximin has trained for the past two weeks so we hope that he’s going to be OK for tomorrow.”
“Manquillo, Colback, Ki, Gayle, Dummett, Yedlin and Muto are all out and we just have to wait on Andy Carroll. Fabian Schär is OK.
“Dummett’s injury looks a particularly nasty one. Gayle is a bog-standard one of between four and six weeks.”
Having Saint-Maximin and Schar back – arguably our two best players – could be a huge boost, although Bruce has been urged to ease the Frenchman back in after a history of hamstring injuries this season.
Carroll’s situation remains a little bit of a mystery. He made cameo appearances against Wolves and Rochdale and appears to have trained, so it seems he may have a niggle which is holding Bruce back from starting him?
Losing Dummett for a length spell could be a blow. We have plenty of left-sided options with Ritchie back and both Lejeune and Clark fit again, but he’s a reliable performer who rarely lets us down.
We’ll also be weakened at right wing-back this weekend, with Yedlin and Manquillo out. Will Bruce give Krafth a rare Premier League start or continue to play Hayden out of position?
If he does the latter, it makes you wonder why we paid £5m to sign the Swedish international over the summer!