Newcastle forward Joelinton was forced off with a thigh problem during Sunday’s friendly at York City. The injury doesn’t appear to serious though the full extent won’t be known until later in the week.
The Brazilian joins a growing list of Magpies unable to get their pre-season preparations in due to either injury or illness. With Karl Darlow’s positive Covid test, Newcastle have three goalkeepers self-isolating until next week with Mark Gillespie and Freddie Woodman considered close contacts.
Bruce has confirmed that Darlow is still the only Magpie to come down with a positive test after a rigorous few days of testing. The Shields Gazette has published the following update from Bruce on the situation:
“Karl Darlow, unfortunately, picked up Covid. So we felt it best that the people who were close to him, i.e. during dinner, self-isolate, so we pulled them out of the group.
“The group has been tested for the last three days. Thankfully everybody else is negative. It shows you we’re not immune to it. We’ve tried our utmost, but it still lingers around, which is difficult to manage.”
They join Martin Dubravka on the sidelines. The 32-year-old is on the mend after another foot injury and had an operation over the weekend. The length of Dubravka’s absence will be known in the coming days. Recent reports have him out until the end of August.
Bruce has revealed that the injury is similar to the one Dubravka suffered prior to last season. That kept him out for around three months. Bruce said the following about his first-choice keeper:
“Well, we’ll not know the extent of the operation with Dubravka (until later today).
“He picked up something similar last pre-season, running in the woods. He complained of it during the Championships, so we’ll not know until the next 24 to 48 hours, and then we’ll see how long he’s out and what we need to do.
“I understand Freddie will be a little bit disappointed at this moment, but I’ve got to do what’s best for Newcastle, and I’ll always do that. The club comes first.”
It could be a bit more serious than originally reported for Martin. That has a knockdown effect for Freddie Woodman, whose loan move to Bournemouth has been delayed. He’s not only been kept behind but now must self-isolate for ten days so his frustration is understandable.
Hopefully, Woodman’s loan move gets back on track at some point. It would be difficult for him to be kept in reserve should Dubravka’s injury be long-term as he could be behind both Darlow and Gillespie.
Bruce has also provided an update on Jonjo Shelvey. The playmaker was not involved yesterday but traveled with the group. Jonjo suffered a calf injury prior to pre-season and is in a battle to be ready for the start of this campaign.
The Chronicle has published the following from Bruce on Shelvey:
“Jonjo hurt himself before pre-season doing running on his own. He hurt his calf so he’ll not be around for a while just yet.”