We’ve been very impressed with the rapid improvement of Joelinton in playing the number 9 role this season. His past two performances have been outstanding in his hold-up play.
Joelinton is the only option for that role right now. However, that may change in the next few weeks with Andy Carroll edging closer and closer to a return to full training.
There were whispers that next Saturday’s trip to Liverpool was a target date for big Andy’s return. However, he has yet to train with the team so that now seems unlikely.
The Chronicle have published an update from Steve Bruce on the progress of his big Geordie striker:
“I am never going to put an exact time on it.
“The good thing for the supporters is that there’s good work he’s done on the training ground with the rehab and physio people.
“The ankle has had no ill effects. He is not sore and not swollen.
“In the past, that has been the case.
“Let’s hope he can come and train with us for a couple of weeks.
“The early signs are encouraging.”
It is a positive sign that he has suffered no setbacks so far. However, the next step is a return to full training.
We would like to see at least two full weeks of Andy going through training sessions before he is even considered for a place in the matchday squad.
That would make the earliest game for Andy’s return to be at St James Park against Brighton on the 21st of this month. The next fixture is the following Sunday at Leicester City.
However, it’s all going to depend on how Andy fares over the next few weeks when we suspect he will begin training with the lads. If there are no setbacks during these sessions, that would be encouraging signs indeed.