Rafa Benitez said that he hoped the international break had come along at the right time, giving him the chance to get key players back from injury.
Jonjo Shelvey has missed the Premier League matches against Chelsea and Manchester City, whilst Matt Ritchie was missing for that last game at the Etihad before the internationals.
With Newcastle United crying out for more creativity and threat, the NUFC boss could do with both back in the team against Arsenal.
On Tuesday, Rafa Benitez has given us a progress on the situation regarding both players.
The manager saying both players are ‘pushing’ to try and get back as soon as possible.
However, whilst Jonjo Shelvey is back training, Matt Ritchie is still with the physio.
So it very much looks like the Scottish international will be missing again on Saturday but Jonjo Shelvey should make a welcome return.
The manager saying that without setbacks the midfielder will be available: ‘If we don’t have any problems he (Shelvey) can be there.’
Rafa was also keen to praise the attitude of both players, saying that he and his medical staff have had to ensure Shelvey and Ritchie don’t overdo it because they are so desperate to be playing again.
Rafa Benitez, speaking to BBC Newcastle today:
“We have had Jonjo training, and Ritchie still with the physio, but they are pushing.
“These two are the kind of players, that you have to stop them, because they want to play and they are working really, really hard to be there.
“Still, we have some time, but at least Jonjo was training.
“If we don’t have any problems he can be there (against Arsenal).
“It’s too soon to say ‘yes’ but I am quite optimistic.”