The Times’ Martin Hardy has issued an update on Sven Botman’s knee injury and Newcastle’s January transfer plans.
He reports that the Dutchman is being ‘nursed back to fitness’ following an ongoing issue and that Howe ‘hopes to have him back shortly’ – although it all depends on the swelling around his knee.
It sounds like he could be back soon if he doesn’t have a reaction in training, but if he were to break down again, he’ll require surgery that could keep him out until February.
Should that happen, Newcastle plan to sign a centre-back in the January transfer window, along with a midfielder and versatile forward, with Kalvin Phillips and Hugo Ekitike also mentioned by Hardy as ‘leading targets’.
Botman’s last appearance came in our 8-0 win over Sheffield United in September, seeing him miss the last two months and 12 games in all competitions.
Jamal Lascelles has filled in admirably and Fabian Schar has continued his consistently brilliant form in his absence, but we’d have to act if Botman was forced to go under the knife, especially when Dan Burn has also been ruled out until the New Year with a back injury.
Fingers crossed there’s no bad reaction when he returns to training and we have the big man back in action and injury free for the hectic festive schedule.