Rafa Benitez has given an injury update on three players today – Jamaal Lascelles, Mikel Merino, Paul Dummett.
He didn’t mention Christian Atsu who seems to have picked up a thigh strain today while training with Ghana.
BOth Atsu and Lascelles were withdrawn during the game against Bournemouth and Jamaal still has some swelling with the ankle, so it’s difficult to assess the damage.
Jamaal Lascelles – his ankle is still swollen
This is what Rafa has said, starting with Jamaal’s ankle, and as reported in the Shields Gazette:
“It’s still a bit painful.” “He’s been working with the physios and getting a little bit better, but it’s slow.”
“We have to wait a couple of days, and then without inflammation, we’ll see how it is.”
“Dummett’s been training.” “He’s been getting better, and Merino’s getting better too.”
“Next week, it’ll be more clear how long he’s out for, but a couple of weeks at least for Merino, and we will see with Jamaal.”
“It’s very difficult for both of them for Man United.” “If it was fine now, maybe you have one week of training.”
“But if not – even if he is fit – it will be two weeks without training, and you may not be physically ready for a game like that.”
So it looks like we will be without Merino and Lascelles for the Manchester United game.
We do have the impressive and experienced Ciaran Clark who can come in for Jamaal to partner Florian Lejeune.
But Clark is likely to play twice for the Republic of Ireland in their playoff games against Denmark – so let’s hope he doesn’t get injured.
There was a Spanish report today that Merino could be out for six to eight weeks.
But it doesn’t seem that Rafa expects Mikel to be out that long – and he says the Spanish U21 International is getting better.
That’s good news.
It’s worrying that we have injury problems as we are set to have some tough games against the top six teams coming up.
What do you think?