Steve Bruce has a potential injury crisis on his hands once again. It’s nothing new as muscle injuries have been a constant since the 60-year-old was appointed just over 2 years ago.
The biggest worry is with striker Callum Wilson, who according to various reports could be out anywhere from another week to the end of October. Newcastle could find it difficult to absorb his loss if it ends up being the latter.
Newcastle have the following six fixtures through the end of October:
17 Sept – Leeds (Home)
25 Sept – Watford (Away)
2 Oct – Wolves (Away)
17 Oct – Tottenham (Home)
23 Oct – Crystal Palace (Away)
30 Oct – Chelsea (Home)
The probable scenario for Wilson’s return is the Tottenham match after the second international break. Wilson is so important to this team that Bruce may err on the side of caution. So waiting until after the two-week international break seems to make sense.
That would still mean Wilson misses three critical matches against teams in and around us at the moment. Watford and Wolves have just three points while Leeds are on two heading into Friday’s match.
Martin Dubravka and Jonjo Shelvey are the other two long-term injuries. Dubravka is out until November while Shelvey should be getting close to a return to training. The other unknown is Paul Dummett who has just struggled with fitness over the past few seasons.
The defender was close to a return against Southampton a few weeks ago but reaggravated his calf injury. Hopefully, Dummett is close to being available as he provides another option at the back.
Bruce currently has three 18-year-olds training with the senior squad. Dylan Stephenson was called up this week while Joe White made the bench at Old Trafford. Elliot Anderson is working his way back after missing the entirety of pre-season with a chronic hip problem.
Anderson got a 60 minute run out with the U23s on Monday. A match which both Stephenson and White also started. The lads lost 2-0 at West Brom but getting Anderson some minutes on the pitch is at least one positive to take away.
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— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 13, 2021
Bruce is unlikely to rely on any of the youngsters at this stage. Though Anderson could provide an option upfront. However, Bruce went with experience during difficult times last season and probably will do the same barring more injuries in attack.
We’re also waiting on news on Javier Manquillo, Ciaran Clark, and Joe Willock. The three suffered knocks over the weekend forcing their early exits. Hopefully, the news on them is better than what we’ve heard on Callum Wilson.
Bruce also confirmed last week that Ryan Fraser’s ankle injury wasn’t serious. The winger was again injured on international duty but it was later revealed to be just a twisted ankle. We’ll hopefully hear positive news on him and some others during Bruce’s press conference later this week.