Steve Bruce has confirmed that “the time is right” for Callum Wilson to come back into the starting 11 ahead of Sunday’s clash with Arsenal.
Our star striker has been limited to cameo appearances from the bench since returning from a hamstring injury earlier this month, however it looks like he’ll be in from the off this weekend.
One slight concern is that Matt Ritchie has picked up a calf injury. Bruce is hopeful he’ll be ok for the game, but accepts he’s a “slight doubt” for the game.
Elsewhere, both Ryan Fraser and Karl Darlow are continuing their recovery from surgery and are a week or two away, while Joe Willock will miss out due to being ineligible to play against his parent club.
Jamaal Lascelles (foot) and Isaac Hayden (knee) also remain out, with both not expected to play again this season.
Bruce also states that Fabian Schar ‘might’ make the squad after 45 minutes with the U23s earlier this week, but insists he will have to be eased back in gradually – making him another doubt for the game.
Here’s what Bruce had to say on some of the above this morning, confirming Wilson will return and that Ritchie is the only new injury concern.
Bruce on Callum Wilson:
“Yeah, I think the time is right [to start him].”
“We’ve been patient with him but I felt last week against Liverpool, in the last five minutes when he burst through, was Callum being free from it.”
Bruce on Matt Ritchie:
“We’ve got a slight doubt about Matt Ritchie.
“He’s got a bit of a calf injury but we think he’s going to be OK [for Sunday].
“Apart from that – everybody else has come through Liverpool alright.”
Bruce on Fabian Schar:
“It was always part of his rehabilitation [to play for the U23s].
“Fab wants to be involved straight away and he might make the squad but we have to be careful because he’s been out for nearly 11 weeks.
“He’s trained well and he’s there or thereabouts.”