Steve Bruce has given his press conference ahead of the Arsenal match on Sunday. There is a fresh injury concern regarding Matt Ritchie who has picked up a calf injury. However, he has not been ruled out just yet.
This is what Bruce said about Ritchie’s injury as published on Newcastle’s Twitter account:
“We’ve got a slight doubt about Matt Ritchie. He’s got a bit of a calf injury but we think he’s going to be OK [for Sunday]. Apart from that – everybody else has come through Liverpool alright.”
It appears that Ritchie should be ok for this weekend. However, if he isn’t, Jamal Lewis will be itching to get back into the team after not playing in the last seven matches.
Other than Ritchie there have been no new injuries or setbacks. With Fabian Schar playing a half for the U23s this week, he looks to be ready to return to the squad. Though he doesn’t appear to be a candidate to break into the starting eleven just yet.
Here is Bruce’s update on the Swiss defender:
“It was always part of his rehabilitation [to play for the U23s]. Fab wants to be involved straight away and he might make the squad but we have to be careful because he’s been out for nearly 11 weeks. He’s trained well and he’s there or thereabouts.”
If Fabian is available that will just leave Jamaal Lascelles, Isaac Hayden, Karl Darlow, and Ryan Fraser ruled out. According to Bruce, both Darlow (knee) and Fraser (groin) have undergone successful surgeries and may be back in just a couple of weeks. Joe Willock is also unavailable to play against his parent club.
Bruce has also given an update on Callum Wilson, who looked in fine form at Liverpool last weekend. The striker had been held back in training over the past few weeks. Therefore Bruce had kept him out of the starting lineup since his return from his hamstring injury.
Bruce now seems more inclined to get Wilson back into his starting eleven. That’s no surprise at all after watching Callum at Anfield. Here is what Bruce had to say about his star striker:
“I think he’s ready [to start]. We’ve waited patiently which was important. The more confident you get with a hamstring that you can get to full pace is important & the way he burst through against Liverpool was typical Callum. I think he’s ready.”
Newcastle have been ultra-cautious with Callum over the past few weeks and it’s ended up being the right decision. This Sunday seems like the right time to unleash both Saint-Maximin and Wilson from the start against the Gunners.
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