We had confirmation from the club on Friday morning that as many as seven Newcastle United players could be missing Sunday’s match at The Hawthorns.
The relegation clash against Sam Allardyce and West Brom is a real six-pointer.
A win for the Baggies and they close to within six points of Newcastle United and safety, whilst a victory for NUFC could send the Magpies six points clear of trouble with a game in hand if Fulham lose to Liverpool, with West Brom a massive 12 points adrift.
Steve Bruce delivered the news on injury, fitness and potential availability of the Newcastle United players for this key match.
Fabian Schar will almost certainly not be seen again this season, though better news on Callum Wilson, he won’t play on Sunday and almost certainly not the following two games (Villa home, Brighton away) either before the international break but he is taking the first small steps to playing again.
Steve Bruce saying about Wilson:
“It is rest and recovery for him.
“He is working with the physios and is lightly jogging but unfortunately still going to be a little bit away.”
An official club statement had earlier in the week said that Miguel Almiron and ASM wouldn’t be back until April at the earliest and Steve Bruce confirmed this on Friday morning:
“It is really frustrating and disappointing [to lose Almiron and ASM].
“One is a muscle injury [ASM] and one is an impact injury on his knee [Almiron].
“We’re hoping that maybe after the international break we can have them back.”
Newcastle United are due to play Tottenham at home the first weekend in April but personally, I would be amazed if it isn’t until after the midway point of next month at the earliest.
At least three other players are doubts, according to Steve Bruce:
“Federico [Fernandez] has trained all week and he might be involved [against West Brom].”
Ahead of the Wolves match it was exactly the same, Bruce confirming that the defender had been training but there was caution as to whether he would be in a position to be considered for the playing squad. Clearly ongoing issues there and even Steve Bruce heeding medical advice not to risk the Argentine international if any doubts at all.
Two other Newcastle United players also in the balance for West Brom, Bruce revealing:
“We’ve got one or two knocks.
“We will see how Isaac Hayden is, he has been carrying an ankle injury for a week or two.
“Emil Krafth has got a nasty shin injury, so we will see how they are today and tomorrow.”
Newcastle United released a photo gallery and additional info after training on Wednesday.
In that update the club stated that Emil Krafth hadn’t been able to train up to that point, with no training on Thursday (as well as last Sunday and Monday) the odds look stacked against Krafth being involved.
Wednesday’s training update also stated that Javier Manquillo still wasn’t able to join in full training and was ‘light training’ as things stood. Difficult to imagine he will be involved either against West Brom.
In our Wednesday piece on the club’s training update, we stated:
‘There is always the chance that the odd player can be training but not included in the club images, which is hopefully the case with another three Newcastle players, as we couldn’t see Hayden, Darlow or Atsu in today’s photos.’
Well obviously Hayden’s absence has now been explained / confirmed, whilst Christian Atsu has been confirmed as having trained with the reserves instead this week, with indeed Atsu playing a rare game today, Friday afternoon seeing him playing for NUFC reserves against Middlesbrough (at half-time Newcastle currently trailing 1-0).
No mention of Karl Darlow today, so hopefully he was just missing from the Wednesday training photos due to the choice of images used, rather than the keeper having picked up an injury as well.