The first item of business during Steve Bruce’s press conference this morning was about the recent injuries to Andy Carroll and Fabian Schar.
Right of the bat, Steve was asked about the seriousness of our most recent casualties:
“They’re not serious at all. Andy, unfortunately, picked up a groin strain last Saturday.
“Fabian Schar has a bit of a sore knee which he’s been playing with for the last two or three weeks. Last Saturday, it became a bit too uncomfortable for him.
“They’ll both miss tomorrow. They could be in contention for next week. We expect them not to be long-term, which is good news.”
It is fortunate it should just be the one match that both Andy and Fabian miss. It’s also a positive sign that Andy has not aggravated the ankle that he had surgery this past Spring.
Steve was then asked how disappointed he was with the latest injuries after getting so close to having a full squad to chose from:
“I mean it is part and parcel of football, and that is why we’ve got the squads we have. Especially in today’s game as well. They are going to pick up injuries. Part and parcel of it.
“Of course, just when you think you have a clean bill of health, you pick up a couple. The good news is that Flo is close to a return, and so is Matt Ritchie as well.
“He’s bouncing around the training ground all week. Good to see him back around.”
It was reported yesterday that both Florian Lejeune and Matt Ritchie would be unavailable for Sunday. While Florian is still a few weeks away, Matt Ritchie should find himself available for selection at West Ham next Saturday.
Issac Hayden will also have served his three-match ban as well. With Carroll and Schar both likely to be back next week as well, Bruce could be left with just Florian Lejeune unavailable next week.
With the Frenchman back to training and making good progress, it’s looking like this week was just a minor hiccup on the fitness front.
Though as Steve Bruce said, players are going to get injured. We have to start to keep it at a minimum, which hasn’t been the case so far this season.