Newcastle are heading into a stretch of 9 matches in just over five weeks if you include our trip to Southampton on January 2nd. This is the time when squads are often stretched very thin.
Fortunately, Newcastle have just one player who is currently on the mend in Paul Dummett. Though Fabian Schar appeared to have tweaked his hamstring before being withdrawn against Brentford. He continued on after receiving treatment but it’s unclear if his substitution was tactical or due to an injury.
Paul Dummett is the only player ruled out for this weekend’s trip to Arsenal at the moment. The 30-year-old has yet to feature after suffering a calf injury in the preseason. He has made just 16 appearances since suffering a torn Achilles in January of 2020.
The Chronicle is reporting that Dummett is close to a return. They expect the defender to be back in contention in December just in time for a brutal stretch of fixtures to close out the year.
Dummett’s return would help boost what has been a calamitous defense. If Howe opts to go with a back four, Dummett would be a very good defensive option at left-back. Or he could slot straight back into the left side of a back three where he played down the stretch last season.
Another player who has struggled with a chronic injury is Elliot Anderson. The now 19-year-old was shut down prior to the start of the preseason due to a hip injury. He returned in September with the U23s before being shut down again in October.
However, Anderson is back again and firing away for Elliot Dickman’s U23s. He has 5 goals for Newcastle’s second string including a hat-trick on Monday night at Nottingham Forest.
Three goals ?
Three points ?
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 22, 2021
Newcastle have struggled with fitness issues over the previous two hectic Decembers. Last season, it was a Covid outbreak that shut down Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles for over a month.
The season before we struggled to field center-backs with Florian Lejeune forced to play four matches in 10 days immediately after returning from his second serious knee injury.
Thankfully, at least at the moment, the injuries are practically non-existent. That could be a mitigating factor in how Newcastle fare as we close out the year.