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Dwight Gayle seeing specialist today ahead of MCL operation – Plus other missing players

4 weeks ago
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Dwight Gayle had by default become Newcastle United’s main hope for goals in the rapidly approaching 2020/21 season.

Despite Steve Bruce ignoring him for most of last season with only four PL starts in the first 11 months of the season, Dwight Gayle ended up as the top scoring NUFC striker with four late PL goals as he was given six starts in July.

With Andy Carroll not having scored a Premier League goal for 29 months, Muto not getting a single goal either last season in the lead, then Joelinton with only two. Mike Ashley refusing to allow any new striker to be brought in, meant Dwight Gayle was the new number one hope for 2020/21.

However, within 18 minutes of his pre-season, Dwight Gayle was ruled out of the start of the season. After laying on a goal for Atsu against Crewe in the opening friendly eight days ago, the striker then ‘hyper-extended his knee’ and was forced off the pitch.

No official updates from the club on what the situation is with Dwight Gayle, which is zero surprise as they communicate on pretty much nothing else either.

However, the media have been updating us on Gayle a number of times.

Now Craig Hope of The Mail says that his information is that Dwight Gayle will see a specialist today (Wednesday 2 September), to speak about his upcoming operation and the rehabilitation period to follow.

The man from The Mail says that Dwight Gayle has damaged his medial collateral ligaments (MCL) and that his sources tell him that the striker will be out for between eight and twelve weeks after the operation. So realistically, back available hopefully sometime between early November and early December. Probably set to miss around a third of the season at a minimum.

After looking it up, I found that the ‘MCL (medial collateral ligament) is a band of tissue that runs along the inner edge of your knee and it helps to connect your shin and thigh bones to keep your knee stable and working properly when you move’, sounding to me like an injury you have to be careful with and Steve Bruce not taking risks with it, as he has done with other players rushing them back – such as ASM last season.

So with 10 days to go until Newcastle visit West Ham, we have the following roll call of Newcastle United players who are currently missing:

Dwight Gayle – MCL injury and facing operation.

Fabian Schar – Operation on shoulder injury late last season, has played no part in pre-season and no news on when expected to be back.

Martin Dubravka – Injury to heel but club allowed him to train for another three days before the pain was too much to carry on. Has had an operation and currently in a brace, recovery time estimated at between two and four months.

Matty Longstaff – Played 45 minutes in opening friendly against Crewe but recurrence of a thigh injury, has missed the last two friendlies and no news on when likely to be available again.

Jonjo Shelvey – Played in opening two friendlies but nowhere to be seen at Middlesbrough yesterday, no explanation so far as to why he wasn’t involved.

Joelinton – Has taken no part at all in pre-season. The club still refuse to comment on why he is missing, whilst press speculation has suggested it could be quarantining / self-isolating with regard to the virus.

Muto – Same as the Brazilian in that he’s taken no part in pre-season and NUFC refuse to comment on what is happening with him. Press speculation is that he has been told to stay away and try to find a new club.

Jeff Hendrick – Hadn’t played any football since March 2020 and the only one of five NUFC friendlies he will take part in is the 60 minutes he got against Barnsley. Now away on international duty and will be missing most of the final two weeks of pre-season preparation. Very difficult to see him being available as a starter against West Ham.

Emil Krafth – Only 45 minutes in pre-season and that was against Crewe in the first friendly. Also now away on international duty and will miss most of these final two weeks of pre-season preparations.

To say Newcastle United’s pre-season isn’t going too well, is a massive understatement.

Difficult for all clubs of course with the shortened run up to the season and this daft international break just before the Premier League kicks off.

However, over half a billion pounds has been spent so far by the other Premier League clubs to help them to start the season in the best possible fashion.

As for Newcastle United, with 10 days to go the situation is absolutely critical in terms of adding creativity and goals, to a squad that in 2019/20 recorded the lowest number of Premier League goals since 1997/98.

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