Early team news from Steve Bruce – 4 ruled out & big decision to make on key duo ahead of West Ham clash

Steve Bruce has offered an update on the injury front ahead of tomorrow’s clash with West Ham at St James’ Park, offering some good and bad news on the fitness front.

The good news is that Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson have ‘trained all week’ and are in contention to start – although Bruce does state that ‘there’s a decision to be made’ on that front after recent muscle injuries saw them begin on the bench at Burnley.

The not so good news is that Ryan Fraser remains out with a groin injury, with Bruce admitting that it’s been another ‘frustrating time’ for the former Bournemouth winger.

Elsewhere, Bruce states that Fabian Schar is making ‘very, very well’ following his return to light training, while Jamaal Lascelles is ‘frustrated as hell’ after suffering a stress fracture in his foot – although it seems the skipper is still eager to return this season.

Although he wasn’t mention in this morning’s presser, Isaac Hayden is another who’ll miss tomorrow’s game after being ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

Here’s what Bruce has had to say on all of the above:

“Wilson and Saint-Maximin have trained all week so they’re both OK.

They’ve both had muscle injuries and they’re the most difficult to manage because they both rely on explosive pace and power. There’s a decision to be made.”

“Jamaal [Lascelles] is frustrated as hell and is in a boot unfortunately. He needs time but he hasn’t ruled himself out of the season yet so let’s hope he can have a speedy recovery.

“Fab [Schar] is making good progress and is doing very, very well.”

“Ryan Fraser is not fit, unfortunately. He has a groin injury which he picked up with Scotland.

“It has been a frustrating time for him he has never quite got up to speed and we have never seen the best of him.”

I can see why Bruce may have felt reluctant to risk Wilson and Saint-Maximin from the off last weekend, however both have proved their fitness once again this week and seem ready to start.

Not only that, this is a winnable game against a West Ham side likely to be without three key players in Antonio, Rice and Cresswell, so we’d be wise to start both in a bid to keep the momentum going – especially when a host of tough fixtures are set to follow.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

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