Steve Bruce has hinted Yoshinori Muto could feature at the Hawthorn’s tonight after finally overcoming a ‘horrible’ rib injury.
The Japanese international hasn’t featured for TWO months after limping off in our 1-1 draw in the FA Cup third round at Rochdale in January.
He’s only started four games all season – two of which have come in cup competitions – and failed to even make our 18-man squad when Burnley came to town on Saturday.
That said, with Dwight Gayle likely to be rested tonight and Andy Carroll still out, Bruce has suggested he could return to the fold against West Brom tonight.
Speaking to BBC Newcastle’s Matthew Raisbeck ahead of the game, here’s what he’s had to say about the former Mainz striker:
“Yoshinori Muto may come into the squad.
“He’s just waiting patiently for his turn.
“I think it was important to just make sure he’s 100% right.
“He had a horrible rib injury at Rochdale”
“It took him a while to shake it off, but he’s back training again.”
It seems likely that he settles for a bench role and that Joelinton moves back up top after playing out wide over the weekend, but it could be one of few occasions we see the 27-year-old in action between now and the end of the season.
He’s made just 2 appearances in the league since September and his game time seems even more limited now Gayle is fit again – however he may earn a few minutes tonight with Gayle unlikely to play twice in 4 days so soon after returning from another hamstring injury.
Do you believe Muto deserves a chance – or does his lack of game time under the past TWO Newcastle boss’ say everything you need to know about his ability at this level?
Let’s hope he takes his chance tonight should one arise!