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Steve Bruce gives fitness and Liverpool availability update for 7 Newcastle United players

3 weeks ago
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Steve Bruce has been asked about the availability of, and injury / fitness situation, concerning a number of Newcastle United players.

The NUFC Head Coach doing his pre-Liverpool press conference.

The final game of 2020 kicking off at St James Park on Wednesday night at 8pm.

Steve Bruce asked by journalists about specific players ahead of the game.

Steve Bruce pre-Liverpool press conference:

“There’s slightly better news on the skipper [Jamaal Lascelles].

“He is making inroads to join in with the team. He’s done a little bit of light stuff.

“Unfortunately, we’re still weeks away with Saint-Maximin, unfortunately.

“So they’re the main two concerns.”

‘Can we expect to see Callum Wilson back?’

“He [Callum Wilson] has had a knock on his ankle and I didn’t really want to risk him [at Man City] and make it worse.

“He’s played four games in something like 12 days, so I had to try and protect him somehow, but hopefully he’ll be raring to go on Wednesday.”

‘Do you expect to be without Ryan Fraser for a while?’

“He hurt his groin and we’ve had an ongoing cycle with Ryan, either with hamstring or groin, and we all know that he didn’t play until last March.

“He’s got a few problems muscle-wise.

“How long will he be? I don’t think he’ll make Liverpool and the week after is still a bit early as well, but we’ll see how he is.”

‘A couple of other players who weren’t involved against Manchester City – Hendrick, Shelvey and Dummett – are they ok or have they picked up injuries?’

“Hendrick and Dummett are not well.

“Jonjo (Shelvey) as we know had a groin operation a month or so ago and unfortunately he’s been very, very sore.

“Typical Jonjo wants to play, but we’ve taken him out of the firing line to make sure he’s ready, and see if he can recover properly from what has been a difficult time for him.”

When looking at the above, one thing to take into consideration is that whilst the press conference stuff has been embargoed until this afternoon (Tuesday 29 December), the press conference was actually carried out at the Etihad on Saturday (26 December) night after the defeat at Manchester City.

What appears for definite is that ASM, Lascelles and Fraser are all definitely missing against Liverpool BUT Callum Wilson should definitely be available to start.

As for Shelvey, Hendrick and Dummett, Bruce’s comments were I think more about confirming that all three had been unavailable for Man City because of injury / illness, rather than simply rested / let out of the team.

Since this pre-Liverpool press conference on Boxing Day night, the club released a set of photos of the Newcastle United players training yesterday (Monday 28 December), only 48 hours before the Liverpool game.

Hendrick and Dummett were both nowhere to be seen but Jonjo Shelvey featured strongly in the training images, so my guesstimate is that he (Shelvey) is likely to be in the squad against Liverpool but not the other two.

Sometimes players do train of course but are not included in the photos published but two other players that I couldn’t see in any of the 40 photos from yesterday’s training were Federico Fernandez and Miguel Almiron. Hopefully they were just missing from the photos and not from training.

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