Steve Bruce has shared a fitness update ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Bournemouth.
The good news is that the NUFC boss has confirmed we suffered no new injuries in Sunday’s 0-2 defeat to Man City, however the game may still come too soon Matt Ritchie, with him rated ‘touch and go’ ahead of tomorrow’s clash his former club.
Elsewhere, Bruce admits Saint-Maximin is ‘extremely tired’ after playing 3 games in a week, and hints his condition will be assessed today ahead of Wednesday night’s clash with the Cherries.
Florian Lejeune’s season may also be over, with Bruce unsure he’ll play against this season after he picked up what’s being described as a “nasty injury” in our behind-closed-doors win over Hull.
Here’s what he’s had to say on the fitness front ahead of tomorrow’s game:
Bruce on Matt Ritchie
“Matt Ritchie is touch and go.
“He’s desperate to play but he was nowhere near it on Friday so we’ll see how he is.
“You can’t really take a risk with soft tissue injuries because if he’s not right he could risk being out for the rest of the season.”
Bruce on Allan Saint-Maximin:
“The lockdown has done him [ASM] good with those niggling hamstrings he had which was always a concern when you rely on your pace like he does.
“He was extremely tired yesterday.
“Four games in 11 days….I’m going to use the squad so we’ll see how he is this afternoon.”
Bruce on Florian Lejeune
“It’s going to be touch and go for Florian Lejeune if he’ll play any part [in the season].
“He’s picked up a nasty thigh injury against Hull which is a grade two.
“I think he’s 17 days in to what we thought might have been around four weeks out.”
So, it seems to me like it may be a good idea to rest Saint-Maximin and NOT take any risks with Ritchie – especially when talented loanee Valentino Lazaro can fill in.
As for Lejeune, he’s got no luck with injuries these days, has he!?
Bournemouth are in desperate need of a result, with them not only in the drop zone as things stand but being set to face Man United, Tottenham, Leicester and Man City in their four games after tomorrow night – highlighting just important it is that Eddie Howe’s men pick up a win.
That said, they’ll have to do it without star man Callum Wilson. He is suspended, while dangerous striker partner Josh King is also expected to miss out after an ankle injury has seen him miss failing to train this week.
With the above in mind, you’d like to think we could get a good result tomorrow with or without our key players.