There’s both good and bad news on the fitness front for us Newcastle fans ahead of tonight’s clash with Crystal Palace.
Bruce has confirmed that Allan Saint-Maximin is set for a place in the starting lineup after making another positive impact from the bench last weekend.
The NUFC boss believes he’s now ready to return after stepping up his match fitness – and he may need to with Ryan Fraser a major doubt after sickness has seen him sit out of training since that 0-2 win over Everton.
Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett have also been made available, with the former set to come back into the side at the expense of Jamal Lascelles – who is ruled out for the next few weeks with a hamstring injury.
Federico Fernandez also remains on the treatment table, with Bruce confirming that the Argentine is no closer to returning after injuring himself in that 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United last month.
Here’s what Bruce has had to say on all of the above:
“Jamaal Lascelles will be unavailable for a few weeks.
“Fede [Fernandez] is still a good couple of weeks away.”
“Ryan Fraser has been sick over the weekend and couldn’t train over the weekend.
“Paul Dummett and Ciaran Clark will be available.
“He’s (Saint-Maximin) had three substitute appearances and we think he could be ready to start.”
So three in, three out for Newcastle as we prepare for a game where we must capitalise on a superb performance against Everton.
Luckily for us, the changes that will come as a result are pretty much like-for-like, with Saint-Maximin and Clark coming in for Lascelles and Fraser as big a no brainer as there could be.
Dummett’s return is good news as he provides cover in the centre and left side of defence, and also keeps Jamal Lewis on his toes – who had his best display in a Toon shirt at the weekend.