Last week, Lee Ryder claimed that Andy Carroll had told ‘those close to him’ that he’d be in contention to feature in our next league game at Southampton.
Now, Steve Bruce has admitted in his latest press conference (held on Monday lunchtime) that we ‘can’t seem to get him right’, suggesting he’ll still be a couple of weeks away from returning.
Here’s what he had to say about the 31-year-old:
“We know the issue we have got.
“Unfortunately, we can’t seem to get him right.
“It is nothing to do with his ankle.
“It is frustrating but we hope he is back in the next couple of weeks.”
“We could do with Andy at this moment but, unfortunately, it’s not to be.”
The big striker had a positive influence (despite a lack of starts) over the first half of the season, making a big impact from the bench and weighing in with 4 assists.
A few months on, he’s played 11 minutes of football since the turn of the year, is still yet to score as a result and is now nursing a new injury after an attempted bicycle kick went wrong injured his hamstring.
It’s a positive to hear it’s not an ankle issue – an area he had reconstructive surgery on over the summer – but the fact he’s taking so long to recover from another niggle is a concern.
Even on a pay structure which is massively incentivised by starts, he’s still on £25,000 per week when he doesn’t.
With his injury concerns in mind, can we really justify extending his stay at St James’ Park if things don’t clear up considerably between now and the end of the season?