This morning Steve Bruce gave his press conference, and the main news was the injury situation with the central defenders. Bruce added Ciaran Clark to the list of the injured but also stated that both Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune were back in contention, barring any setbacks over the next few days.
The timing is perfect for the return of Florian Lejeune, who can slot into the left side of the back three, where he starred for Newcastle last season before his devastating knee injury in April against Crystal Palace.
It’s been a long road back for the 28-year-old and one which he was all too familiar with as this was his second serious knee injury in less than a year. Florian put in the hard work during what had to be a dark time for the Frenchman.
Florian Lejeune– an inspirational return on Monday?
Bruce made some comments about Lejeune during the press conference and how he has been committed to getting back onto the pitch for Newcastle:
“The big one is obviously Flo, because he’s been out for so long. But he’s done everything – he’s played, he’s got minutes under his belt on the training ground and he’s ready to go.
“The same goes for Schär; as long as they come through the next two or three days unscathed then they’ll both come into contention, and that can only be a good thing.
“There comes a point where you can’t keep training and training and training; you have to be thrown into the deep end, if that’s the right word. But (Lejeune) is a wonderful pro.
“He’s the first in, the last to go and he’s done everything he possibly can. He feels he’s ready, and I think that’s the most important thing – he knows his knee better than anybody. He’s done all his minutes and he’s ready to go.
Florian has been a spectacular professional since joining Newcastle in the summer of 2017. He’s quite possibly our best defender while also being quite adept with the ball at his feet.
While it would be devastating for Ciaran Clark to lose his place due to a slight hamstring injury suffered on international duty, Newcastle is blessed to have so many quality defenders who can come in and keep the team solid at the back.