The last thing we want right now is for one of our top players to be sidelined for a matter of months, but that unfortunately now looks a possibility with center-back Steven Taylor.
Physio Steve Henderson shown with Steven Taylor
It seems there are fears growing over the extent of the knee injury that Taylor suffered, during a collision with Roman Bednar, in Monday night’s draw with West Brom.
Taylor will definitely miss today’s game at the Hawthorns, and Newcastle’s medical staff are right now awaiting results of tests that will tell them the extent of the injury.
If there is ligament damage, Taylor’s lay-off could be months rather than weeks, and that would be a cruel blow to Newcastle’s promotion chances, at such a critical time of the season.
In fact George Caulkin of the Times, probably the best reporter around on Newcastle United, and always a trusted source, thinks that Steven is already out for the season.
But we stress that this has not been confirmed by the Newcastle club, and we still have to hope for the best.
Hungarian Tamas Kadar is expected to partner Coloccini in today’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at West Brom.
Kadar has started just four matches in all competitions this season, but Chris Hughton feels, probably rightly so, that it is important to bring the 19 year-old along gradually, especially in a position so crucial as center-back.
The Newcastle boss said today:
“He’s young and a player we see as a developing player,”
“It’s a tough league this one and we’re talking about a young player in a position that’s generally what you call a man’s position.”
“You see a lot of good tough centre-halves in this division, and we feel the development we’re giving him is right for him.”
“He has ability, there’s no doubt about that. If we felt he was ready and the finished article, he’d have played more games, but we feel our approach is the right one, particularly given the position he plays.”
We have great belief in this youngster, and he plays a good safe game at the back, and was excellent in his last two games for Newcastle, playing quite majestically alongside the experienced Fabricio Coloccini.
We have to hope that Steven does not have knee ligament damage, but if he does, we will need to somehow get Mike Williamson in from Portsmouth quickly.
The best chance of that is probably to get the lad on loan through the end of the season, and with Tamas Kadar, we should be able to forge some strong center-back partnership in our remaining games.
But Fabricio Coloccini will need to step up to the plate if Steven is injured long term, but he’s shown he can do that many times this season, and we also have great faith in the Argentine International.