It appears that both Bassong and Taylor are touch and go to play in the Chelsea game, with just four days to go.
Steven Taylor – improving well this week from bruised ankle
Newcastle stand-in coach talked today about the injuries to Bassong, Taylor and Duff, and it looks like there’s a chance all three could be fit for Saturday, with a little luck:
“At this particular moment we have three players who could go either way,” “The main questions are on Bassong and Taylor. Both are making progress, obviously they need to continue making progress for the rest of the week.”
“Certainly we’re not ruling them out of any game – if they make good enough progress it’d be a nice pleasant surprise for us. Saturday is still a possibility.” “Some individuals react better to treatment than others – we’re hopeful that that’s the case with both of them.”
“With Damien, his type of injury is a seven to ten-day injury. It is a glute injury – not where we first thought it was. That is the good news, it’s not long-term. We will give him every opportunity and I can see that one going down to the last day.”
“From a fitness point of view it’s not a problem for him to play, even though he’ll miss a period of training. That one will go down to the last couple of days.”
With Steven Taylor’s bruised ankle it’s not surprising that he could be making rapid progress, since the medical staff can probably do quite a lot to quicken up the dispersion of the blood.
We’re a little surprised there is no firmer news on Bassong, who has a hip injury, and he is the one player we would like to see fit to play on Saturday. With Habib Beye fit again he can play right back, in place of Steven, and we have plenty of wingers who can play in place of Duff.
On Damien Duff, Chris continued:
“He had a very good hour against the Arsenal. I thought he was very positive in everything he did,” Hughton said. “It’s frustrating for him to be out injured.”
“He had his first pre-season for three years – he certainly showed in periods what a good player he is this season for club and country. He’d be a big loss if he didn’t play – especially on the back of a good performance last week.”
Duff has been playing well this season, and has probably enjoyed his best form on Tyneside, but it’s still nowhere near how well he can play, and how well he played at Chelsea and Blackburn.