Steve Bruce revealed this morning that Andy Carroll has come through his initial involvement in team training unscathed. Now Andy will visit a specialist for the go-ahead to ramp up his participation in the sessions.
If given the all-clear for that, Andy could be fully involved in the sessions next week as the team prepare for Brighton. Bruce has even not ruled out Carroll making the bench for the home match against the Seagulls.
This is what Steve Bruce said according to the Shields Gazette when asked if Carroll could make the match-day squad next week:
“Yes. We need some positive news from his specialists now.”
This is in stark contrast to what Steve Bruce said on Tuesday when he insisted that patience was required with Andy. This is how Steve described Andy’s circumstances after training on Tuesday:
“Andy, we’ll have to still be patient. However, for the first time today, he joined in with the group to a degree. He only took part in half of the session, non-contact, but it’s good to see him out kicking a ball again.
“I always knew that it would be towards the end of this month and halfway through the next month really.”
We’re not sure what caused the drastic difference in Andy’s forecast from Tuesday to Friday. The optimist in us hopes that Andy has had a stellar few days of training and had his return date shifted forward. However, Steve is sometimes coy with the media, so we just really can’t be sure what to make of it.
Andy Carroll– one step at a time
Today Steve was very positive about the progress of all of his injured players except for Dwight Gayle. Both Matt Ritchie and Allan Saint-Maximin are ahead of schedule in their recoveries. As for Gayle, Steve is still uncertain on a return date for him.
Bruce also spoke about his expectations of Andy for this coming season. He has wisely tempered the expectations a little for the often hobbled striker. This is what he envisions for Andy’s when he gets in the team:
“If we get 12, 15 starts from him, then I’ll be delighted. We all know he’s not going to play 35 times, but he could be an impact player. Let’s hope his ankle is OK, and if he’s OK, he’s going to be a big plus for us.”
Getting Andy 12 to 15 starts while being an impact sub late in games would be a massive boost to this team. However, we have to also be realistic and take just one step at a time. Let’s first hope he can get through a full week of training, and then we’ll take it from there.