Yesterday, it was reported that Newcastle’s away fixture at Liverpool was being targetted as a possible return date for Andy Carroll.
We thought this was a reasonable date as it would come after a two-week international break giving Steve Bruce adequate time to judge Andy’s fitness. It also would provide Andy Carroll another month to get fit and start training with the first-team.
Though if any doubts should arise within the next month, Newcastle should remain very cautious with Andy. A setback of a few weeks is nothing when compared to the larger picture of the entire season.
His latest injury this past February was the third in less than two years on his ankle. The club, as well as Andy, must be ultra-cautious in their preparations for his return.
We have reason to believe that will be the case as Andy Carroll said as much in his initial interview with NUFC TV. During that interview, he refused to give a timetable on his return. He instead is relying on the practicality of taking it day by day to let his body be the judge of his readiness.
Andy Carroll– would not give a set date for return
The club also have reason to be very cautious with Carroll’s return. Newcastle have given a precious squad spot to Carroll which has seen them left a little short in central midfield. Both Jack Colback and Henri Saivet were left out of the 25-man squad leaving just five central midfielders in the team.
This leaves just five central midfielders in Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Ki Sung-yueng, and Matty Longstaff. Two of these players in Jonjo and Sean missed large swathes of the season last year due to injury. While Matty Longstaff is just nineteen years old so will not be expected to play a significant role this season.
For this reason, Newcastle will not want to have wasted a squad spot on Big Andy. So he will get his opportunities this season once declared fit. They just have to make sure that he is ready when they do.
The Shields Gazette are reporting that in Andy Carroll’s contract there is an extension of one year if he reaches a certain number of appearances for Newcastle this season. They also report that Carroll has a base salary of between £20-25k per week, but that base significantly rises with appearances and goals.
This gives Andy a lot of motivation to play as often as possible. However it is a double-edged sword because if he rushes back to get more games, it will only heighten the risk of injury. So we expect caution from the club with Andy and hopefully, the targets set in his contract are attainable without causing any undue risk for further injury.