After the disappointing draw at Birmingham last Saturday Rafa has more players injured with Grant Hanley the latest to pick up a knock and he’s now back at Newcastle having withdrawn from the Scotland squad.
Grant picked up the injury at Birmingham so it wasn’t while he was training with Scotland and it’s an ankle injury, but whether he will be fit for the game at home to Wigan on April Fool’s day we don’t know.
That’s also true with our other center-back – Ciaran Clark – who has picked up a knee injury and missed Saturday’s game and subsequently withdrew from the Ireland squad.
We think both players were withdrawn by Rafa as a precaution because of the big games coming up at Newcastle and they would not be able to play for their countries in any case.
Grant Hanley – disappointed with draw
One or both could be fit to play on April 1st however.
And Daryl Murphy has a calf problem which is currently being assessed by the Republic of Ireland medical staff, although it’s not thought to be serious.
Grant Hanley was disappointed we couldn’t take all 3 points last Saturday as he had this to say in the local press today:
“It’s disappointing we didn’t get the three points.” “Every point’s important, especially when it’s so tight at the top of the league.”
“But it’s still disappointing not coming away with three.”
“When you come back you’ve got a month and a bit left.” “It’s really the business end of the season.”
“It’ll give the lads a chance to recover. You’ve got players coming back from injury as well.”
“It’ll be good for the lads to get a wee break and come back fully focused.”
The good news on the injury front is that we could have defensive midfielder Isaac Hayden back for the April 1st game against Wigan Athletic and that would be great news and hopefully Isaac can come straight back into the side.
He had surgery on his ankle, which had been troubling him recently, so hopefully Isaac can become a fixture again in the Newcastle side during the vital run-in to the season.
Newcastle seem to play well when Isaac is in the side.
And we could see American right-back DeAndre Yedlin back again very soon and maybe he can play a week or so after the Championship resumes on April 1st.
And Rolando Aarons could be available soon and even for the game against Wigan.
We need all the players fit so we can make that big push for promotion.
Things are not looking too bad on that front as long as either Ciaran Clark and/or Grant Hanley are fit for the home game against Wigan a week on Saturday.
What do you think?