Steve Bruce has been speaking to the press in the last few moments and has shared some mixed news on the injury front ahead of Sunday’s trip to Arsenal.
On the plus side, both Joelinton (rib) and Almiron (fatigue) are ‘fine’ – despite both limping off at Oxford last week – but Andy Carroll ‘still isn’t right’ and will miss out once again this weekend
Muto and Gayle are back in training but Bruce has hinted the game could come too soon for both, while Jonjo Shelvey has been tipped to return at Crystal Palace next weekend – despite fears he’d miss our February fixtures with a hamstring injury.
There’s no update on Manquillo – suggesting he’s still out – while Emil Krafth and Paul Dummett remain sidelined, but two players who look set to feature are NUFC new boys Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro:
Here’s what Bruce has had to say this morning:
“Andy Carroll still isn’t right. We expected him to be OK but unfortunately he’s not. Thankfully it’s not his ankle but it’s his hip flexor which isn’t quite right.”
“We expected him to be out for 10 days. It’s a big frustration. Hopefully he will be ready in a couple of weeks or whenever.”
“Muto and Gayle are there or thereabouts – it’s about how I introduce them back into it.
“We’re just going to assess if it’s too early, but they’re training.”
“Joelinton is OK. It was a knock (to his rib), but no fracture.
“Shelvey is still out unfortunately but we don’t think he’s going to be too long. Maybe another week and we’ll have another four or five back.
“The two new boys [Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro] will come straight back into the squad and they give me options.”
It’s positive to hear it’s not Carroll’s ankle that’s causing him problems, but the fact he was expected to be out for 10 days – yet has only played 11 minutes since the turn of the year is a concern given his injury record.
Gayle and Muto seem unlikely to be risked and on the bench at best on Sunday, however it’s promising to hear Shelvey could be back next week.
As for Rose and Lazaro, it would not surprise me if both start after the winter break gave them a chance to improve their fitness levels and integrate themselves into the squad.