As is a custom on Wednesdays, Newcastle have released images from today’s training session. The club sent out the following tweet highlighting the return of Matt Ritchie and Florian Lejeune.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 23, 2019
It’s great to see Matt Ritchie back with the lads after two months on the sidelines with an ankle injury. Last week he was in the Middle East getting some warm weather training in. Bruce had noted at the time that he expected the 30-year-old to be ready for team training this week.
The club provided the following statement on Ritchie in the write-up accompanying the images:
And Steve Bruce may be able to call upon Matt Ritchie for Sunday’s match, with the influential 30-year-old back in full training this week.
So it looks like Matt could be involved in some capacity for Sunday’s match against Wolves. That could be a massive boost to get Ritchie’s passion and leadership back in the team.
We also noticed two absentees in the images. The first was Fabian Schar, who was not in any of the photographs. The club usually do a decent job of having every player in the session in at least one of the pictures. While it could be nothing, it does look like Fabian was not involved in today’s training for whatever reason.
The other player is Andy Carroll. He is not in any of the images either. However, there is a good reason for that. Steve Bruce has disclosed that Andy is following a specific training plan to try to ensure his fitness.
The Chronicle have published these revelations by Steve Bruce about Big Andy’s training regimen. It seems he only participates two days a week at the moment. This is how the head coach explained it:
“Andy has got his schedule now. He trains for two days. On Tuesday, we had a big physical day where his stats were great.
“Thankfully, there is no reaction to his ankle the next day. He trained again on Thursday and he comes to the fore.”
Well, that would account for why the 30-year-old striker was not in training today. Andy does not train two days in a row but instead comes in on Tuesday and Thursday. It looks like on Wednesday, the medical staff assesses his ankle for any reaction from the day before.
We’re not sure if this is just as Andy gets himself back to full fitness or if this will be his schedule for the foreseeable future.
However, Bruce did say that Carroll will soon be available to start games:
“Hopefully in the next week or two weeks he will be in a position where we can start him.”
We think the club are best to take the extra precautions with Andy. We’ll have to see how it all pans out in the end.
Hopefully, he can get a start in November, and that will be a big hurdle for him to get over in proving his fitness for the rest of this season.