Eddie Howe has issued an update on the fitness front ahead of next Monday’s clash with Manchester United at St James’ Park.
We already know that Isaac Hayden will miss the game through suspension (five yellow cards), but the NUFC boss has also confirmed that this one will come too soon for Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lewis and Paul Dummett.
Fernandez is expected to miss the festive period and ‘most of January’, while Lewis is expected to miss one or two games in the new year after suffering a hamstring strain in that 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.
Dummett is back in training and appears to have impressed the manager, but Howe isn’t putting a timescale on his return to action just yet.
The good news is that Javier Manquillo is expected to recover from illness, as is Emil Krafth – who also wasn’t well enough to feature last weekend.
Jonjo Shelvey appears to be touch and go for the game, with Howe ‘hopeful’ he’ll be OK, while also admitting that he hasn’t actually trained yet this week.
He has also confirmed that there has been no positive Covid cases at the club during the latest round of testing, so fingers crossed that remains the case in the coming days.
Here’s what he’s had to say about all of the above when speaking to the press this morning:
“We have a few players that are still out.
“Federico Fernandez, Paul Dummett and Jamal Lewis will all miss the game but we’ll hopefully have Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo back from illness and Shelvey fit and available.
Howe on Shelvey:
“He hasn’t trained with the group yet, we hope to have him back very soon. He’s such an important player for us in many different ways that we need to keep him fit.”
Howe on Fernandez:
“It’s a difficult one to put a timescale on but it’s weeks rather than months. We’ll wait and see how he responds. He’s definitely going to be out of the Christmas period and most of January but he’s working hard and improving every day.”
Howe on Lewis:
“I don’t think it will be too long. It’s not a major injury but it’s enough to keep him out of the festive period and some games in early January. Hamstring strains are usually 3-4 weeks minimum and I think that’s probably where he’ll be.”
Howe on Dummett:
“He did train yesterday but it was his first day. It’s brilliant to have him back – I was very impressed with him as a player, as a person and a character in the group. I loved working with him, but I can’t put a timescale on when he could come back.”
Howe on Covid:
“We have a clean bill of health currently and we’re going though our testing every day. With the current infection rate around the country, we’re doing well at the moment to stay clear of it.”