Bruce confirms 5 players set to miss Aston Villa – Double injury blow but good news on Willock

Steve Bruce has confirmed that Jonjo Shelvey will miss tomorrow’s trip to Aston Villa after picking up yet another calf injury.

The NUFC boss has also revealed that Martin Dubravka’s foot has become infected following a recent operation, meaning he’ll be out ‘another few weeks’.

Elsewhere, Karl Darlow is ‘still a long way off’ as he makes a comeback from Covid, while the game will also come too soon for Paul Dummett – who could feature against Burnley next week – and Elliot Anderson (hip).

On the plus side, Bruce has confirmed that £25m man Joe Willock will definitely feature at Villa Park after being ineligible to play last weekend.

He admits the midfielder hasn’t had much of a pre-season, but is a naturally fit player who’ll be in the squad at the very least.

Here’s what he’s had to say, starting with the bad news on Jonjo Shelvey’s latest injury:

Bruce on Shelvey:

“It doesn’t look as if Jonjo will make it for Saturday.

“He had a calf injury in pre-season and Sod’s law it’s his other one that’s the issue.

Bruce on Dubravka and Darlow:

“Dúbravka and Darlow are way short at the minute so Freddie Woodman will play again.

“Martin, unfortunately, the injury he’s had has become infected which will set him back another few weeks.

“Karl has still not overcome his Covid situation, so those two are still a long way off.

“It’s a concern & we’re toying with the idea of naming 4 keepers, which is unheard of.”

Bruce on Willock:

“The good thing about Joe is he’s a naturally fit young man. So, he’ll definitely be involved.”

“I would’ve liked him to have a few more minutes in pre-season but he’s a young, naturally fit young man.

He’ll be in the squad, that’s for sure.

He improved us immensely with his goals from midfield and let’s hope he can carry that on tomorrow.”

Bruce on Dummett:

“He hurt his calf at Rotherham. He’s not far away – back on the grass.

Whether he’ll be able to play some part on Wednesday (against Burnley) is a debate we’ll have over the next couple of days.”

Bruce on Anderson:

“Thankfully, there’s a bit of progress. It’s been immensely frustrating.

There’s nothing worse than when you’re basically ordered to shut down and told to have complete rest.

We hope he’s over the worst.”

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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