Steve Bruce has given a big update on the injury front during his pre-Burnley press conference this morning.
On the plus side, the NUFC boss says it looks as though Allan Saint-Maximin will be fit after training all week, with him also suggesting that Fabian Schar will be fit to play after featuring for the first time since a bad shoulder injury at Newport.
That said, there’s new concerns over Jamal Lascelles (hamstring) and Emil Krafth (hip), with both rated as ‘doubts’ for tomorrow night’s clash with Burnley.
Elsewhere, Bruce reveals that Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett and Matty Longstaff could all be back in training “a week on Monday”, but they will join long-term absentees Martin Dubravka, Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie in missing the game at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Here’s what he’s had to say:
“Allan looks as if he’ll be fit.
“It’s a big day for him today, but he’s trained all week. We decided not to risk him against Newport. He’s got over his ankle injury and we’re glad to see him back.”
“Lascelles is a bit of a problem – he’s got a bit of a niggle in his hamstring, and Emil Krafth’s got a problem with his hip. We’ll see how they are today.
“Fabian Schär is OK and he’s really ahead of schedule but we’re a bit light defensively.
“Clark and Dummett could be back soon. We’re expecting them to be training a week on Monday. We’re hoping that for Matty Longstaff, too.”
So, it looks like we’ll have ASM back, however we’re looking very light defensively and could really miss Lascelles against a physical Burnley side whose biggest threat will be from high balls into the box.
Schar could well step in alongside Fernandez, but the other option (and only one now we’ve let Lejeune go!) will be to put Hayden in at centre-half.