Steve Bruce has given his press conference for Sunday’s match at Burnley. He provided the outstanding news that Callum Wilson will be available after coming through training this week.
Last week was too soon for Callum but after a full week of training, it looks like our star striker will make his return from his hamstring injury after missing 7 matches, none of which were wins.
Here is what Bruce said about Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, who made a late cameo last weekend, per Newcastle’s Twitter account:
“Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin have trained all week and that’s good news for us. They’re available.
“Callum’s trained well, he looks well, he’s confident in himself so let’s hope he stays well.”
However, this is Newcastle, so it’s not all positive on the injury front. Bruce revealed that Jamaal Lascelles picked up a foot injury in our draw against Spurs. It appears very ominous for the captain as he may have a stress fracture.
This is Bruce’s revelation on Jamaal’s injury:
“The disappointing thing is we’ve lost Jamaal Lascelles with a foot injury which happened last week against Spurs.
“It’s not looking so good at the moment. He’s going to have more scans over the weekend but we think it may be a stress fracture.”
Lascelles missed a couple of matches in February with a slight injury. He also struggled with the after-effects of Covid during the holiday fixtures missing 8 matches from late November to early January. It could be that he now joins Isaac Hayden and Fabian Schar with long-term injuries.
However, the silver lining is that Federico Fernandez’s calf injury wasn’t too serious. The Argentine wasn’t in the squad last Sunday after returning for the previous three from his hamstring injury. All tolled, Fede hasn’t played in the last 13 matches after suffering a hamstring injury in January.
Bruce said the following about Fernandez and Ciaran Clark, who didn’t play against Spurs but was on the bench. Clark had started the previous six matches.
“Both Federico Fernández and Ciaran Clark are OK. Fede hasn’t played for a long time but he’s trained all week which is good news.”
While the loss of Lascelles is troubling, it appears that Bruce has enough cover at center-back, even if he keeps with the 5-3-2 formation used against Spurs. Paul Dummett and Emil Krafth both played last weekend so Bruce has four to choose from.
Finally, two other Magpies who picked up slight knocks and weren’t available last weekend are Andy Carroll and Ryan Fraser. Carroll will undergo a late fitness test with his calf injury. He’s expected to return to training while Ryan Fraser has been ruled out with his groin injury.
Bruce expressed some worry in regards to Fraser, who was outstanding for Scotland during the break. This is what Bruce said about the attacking duo:
“Andy Carroll has got a chance but Ryan Fraser’s groin injury hasn’t improved which is a bit of a worry.
“Andy has a big training session today but he’s missed the last two and a half weeks. We’ll see how he is today.”
It’s disappointing that both Lascelles and Fraser could be unavailable for at least the next few weeks. However, that is offset by the looming return of Callum Wilson, who is so crucial to our survival chances.