There’s at least one piece of good news on the injury front for the Newcastle fans today.
Nile Ranger – fit again after shin problem
And that is that 19 year-old up-and-coming striker Nile Ranger is fit again following his shin injury, which kept him out of the 2-1 home defeat against Everton a couple of weeks ago.
But Jose Enrique will not make it, and Jonas Gutierrez is very doubtful, although there is some hope that Joey Barton will return to the side, after missing the last two games with his thigh strain.
This is what Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said earlier today, following a training session at Benton:
“Jose is well off at the moment.” “He has not trained this week and we will have to see if he can do something. He is a player I cannot afford to put at risk.”
“Jonas did the warm-up in training, but he is still feeling his knee, Joey did the same. Nile Ranger is fine.”
We should see London-born Ranger come on sometime in the second half tomorrow, and of course this lad is full of energy and and very fast, and could cause the Stoke defense some problems, much like Andy Carroll used to do, earlier in the season.
The 6′ 2″ former Southampton striker still has to score his first Premier League goal, and he’s already made 51 appearances for the Newcastle first team, and is probably a better player than Andy was at the same age 28 months ago.
We can only hope (and pray) that he becomes as good as Andy over the next couple of years, and if he doesn’t, it will certainly not be because the lad lacks the necessary skills or ability.
It’s all up to Nile to become a first class professional, because the skills are all there for him to become a great striker for Newcastle.