Callum Wilson fit to start against Arsenal but Steve Bruce says up to 7 Newcastle players could miss
Steve Bruce has been talking to the media on Friday morning.
The Newcastle United Head Coach speaking to journalists ahead of Sunday’s home game with Arsenal.
A great opportunity for Newcastle, with Arsenal having all their focus on the Europa League, as they have nothing to play for in the league.
Talking about fitness and availability, Steve Bruce revealed that he could be without up to seven Newcastle players when it comes to naming his starting eleven.
The good news is that Bruce has stated that after a couple of substitute appearances and having had to miss some training sessions in previous weeks, as he recovered from injury, Callum Wilson is now fully fit and available to start against Arsenal.
As for the rest of the team / squad, this is the position as confirmed by Steve Bruce.
Both Karl Darlow and Ryan Fraser are currently recovering from operations, the pair definitely not involved on Sunday but they could possibly return before the end of this season (which only has 23 days left to run).
Isaac Hayden is missing for the rest of this season as he looks to sort a knee problem and be ready for next season. Similar story with Jamaal Lascelles, he has a stress fracture to the foot and won’t play again this season.
Steve Bruce says that Fabian Schar is desperate to start playing first team football as soon as possible, no surprise with Euro 2020 only six weeks away. However, Bruce indicates that Schar will be on the bench at best on Sunday, as he makes his gradual comeback from injury. Only 45 minutes for the reserves earlier this week, the sum total of his playing return so far.
Meanwhile, Steve Bruce revealed that Matt Ritchie has a calf problem but he is hopeful that the player can shake that issue off and line up against Arsenal.
One player definitely not playing is Joe Willock, the Arsenal midfielder ruled out as he can’t play against his own club. This means that by the time we get to Leicester away in seven days time (Friday 7 May), it will be seven weeks since Willock started a match. Hardly ideal if Newcastle United are serious about buying him in the summer.
Steve Bruce speaking to BBC Newcastle ahead of the match at St James Park against Arsenal:
“Darlow and Fraser have both had operations but they’re recovering.
“The way sports science is.
“In another couple of weeks, they will hopefully be OK.
“Fabian Schar wants to be involved straight away.
“He might make the squad but we’ve got to be careful because he’s been out for 11 weeks.
“But, he’s trained well, and come through 45 minutes [for the under-23s earlier this week] unscathed, so he’s there or thereabouts.
“I think Callum Wilson is ready [to start].
“We have waited patiently and I think that’s been important for him.
“Last week when I watched him [at Liverpool], and certainly this week in training, the more confident he’s getting with the hamstring that he can get to full pace.
“We have got a slight doubt about Matt Ritchie.
“He has got a bit of a calf injury but we think he’s going to be OK.”
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