The skipper has been missing for over a month after struggling to make a full recovery from COVID-19, while Fraser was initially expected to miss most of January after picking up a groin injury in last month’s League Cup defeat at Brentford.
However, with Newcastle United confirming both took part in ‘full training’ today, it seems Steve Bruce may have the key duo back for Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Arsenal.
Here’s the club’s official update (via NUFC.co.uk), suggesting Lascelles, Fraser and Dubravka are all in contention for this weekend’s game:
Captain Jamaal Lascelles was back in full training on Thursday as Newcastle United prepared for their Emirates FA Cup third round trip to holders Arsenal.
The influential skipper was one of several Magpies players affected by a Covid-19 outbreak at the club’s training ground last month, and he hasn’t played since November. But having resumed light training recently, he has now been able to join in with his team mates.
Ryan Fraser continues to train, too, while Martin Dúbravka – United’s player of the year last term – could make his first start of the season at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.
Although our defence has coped quite well in Lascelles’ absence, we are light on options at centre-back and seem an injury away from real problems – with Dummett struggling to stay fit and Lejeune carelessly allowed to leave before a replacement was signed.
As for Fraser, it’s his return that could be crucial. His persistent fitness issues are a concern, but he created both goals in his last league start at Leeds and can give us that bit of spark in the final third – something we’ve badly missed while he and Saint-Maximin have been sidelined!