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Steve Bruce injury / fitness update ahead of West Ham on 8 Newcastle United players

2 weeks ago
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Last Saturday saw the final friendly of pre-season and as worrying as the performance and result were, far more serious was the amount of Newcastle United players missing from the matchday squad.

That 1-0 defeat to Stoke followed a 5-1 mauling at Middlesbrough, Saturday seeing only four outfield subs named, plus Isaac Hayden playing as an emergency centre-back, Manquillo out of position at left-back, whilst Yedlin, Barlaser and Murphy were all in the starting line up.

I made it 14 Newcastle United players missing for various reasons only seven days before Premier League kick-off and today Steve Bruce has given us an update on a number of them.

Wednesday seeing the big socially distanced media event / press conference at the training ground to introduce Callum Wilson, Jamal Lewis and Ryan Fraser, plus Steve Bruce also spoke to the assembled journalists.

Just to complete the NUFC fun day, Mike Ashley flew in onboard his helicopter to the training ground, though he didn’t take the opportunity to speak to the media.

Craig Hope of The Mail gave a brief update via his Twitter account on what Steve Bruce had said about the injury fitness situation:

New Signings:

Callum Wilson – Confirmation that the new centre-forward is ready to start against West Ham.

Jamal Lewis – Same as Wilson, fully fit after pre-season and international duty so can start on Saturday.

Ryan Fraser – No football played since March and no pre-season, so Bruce indicating that it will be bench at best against West Ham.

Missing players against Stoke:

Martin Dubravka – Estimates that he would be out between two and four months but Steve Bruce saying today he expects the keeper to return inside four weeks.

Ciaran Clark – Played in first three friendlies after being out injured since February but was missing from training at the end of last week. Steve Bruce confirming that Clark still hasn’t fully recovered from that long-term injury.

Paul Dummett – Same again. Played in first three friendlies after being out injured since January but was missing from training at the end of last week before missing Saturday’s friendly. Steve Bruce saying he is also not fully recovered from that original injury.

Jonjo Shelvey – Missing from both friendlies against Stoke and Middlesbrough but better news on him, Bruce says the midfielder is now ok after ‘minor’ injury issues.

Matt Ritchie – Missed Stoke but Steve Bruce says the former Bournemouth player, who turns 31 tomorrow, is fine now after shaking off minor injury problems.

Other players

Florian Lejeune – Was claimed to be unwanted by Steve Bruce and set to move out, which appears to be the case. Reported today that he is set to go back to La Liga for a season on loan, with Alaves the most likely destination.

Jamaal Lascelles РWas banned against Stoke after the red card at Middlesbrough, free to face West Ham though.

Fabian Schar – Another claimed to be unwanted by Steve Bruce and set to move out this window. No update today on the Swiss defender but reported to be still recovering from his shoulder injury and won’t be involved on Saturday.

Dwight Gayle – Out with a knee injury and expected to be missing for up to three months, no update on him today.

Emil Krafth – Away on international duty and has missed most of these final two weeks of pre-season. Has played only 45 minutes in the pre-season friendlies but has trained with his national side the past week and a half. Got a very rare 90 minutes in Sweden’s 2-0 defeat to Portugal last night and will be fit for Saturday, though unlikely to be selected.

Jeff Hendrick – Also, away on international duty and has missed most of these final two weeks of pre-season, playing only 60 minutes in the pre-season friendlies. Played the full 90 minutes last Thursday for Republic of Ireland against Bulgaria but sat out the 1-0 defeat on Sunday to Finland. A full week of training and he will be available for West Ham.

Matty Longstaff – Has only featured in the first friendly against Crewe and out with thigh injury since, not seen in training either. No update on him today but presumed unavailable.

Achraf Lazaar – Told he isn’t wanted and to look for a new club this summer. No change on that today.

Rolando Aarons – Told he isn’t wanted and to look for a new club this summer. Same again, same position.

Not an ideal pre-season of preparations by any means BUT at least the player availability looking far healthier for West Ham than it looked last weekend.

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