Newcastle United face Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia on Thursday - but what is the injury latest in Eddie Howe’s squad? Updates on Alexander Isak and Sven Botman
Eddie Howe has brought a bumper Newcastle squad over to Saudi Arabia including players recovering from injury as well as Under-21s stars. The Magpies currently have five players out at the World Cup in Qatar and therefore unavailable during the warm weather training camp in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
United have faced their fair share of injury issues so far this campaign with record signing Alexander Isak featuring just three times prior to the World Cup break following a thigh injury. Emil Krafth was also dealt a significant injury blow after rupturing his ACL on his first start of the season at Tranmere Rovers in August.
Newcastle have already trained in Saudi Arabia and will play Saudi Pro League champions Al-Hilal on Thursday before hosting La Liga side Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, December 17 (12:30pm kick-off).
Here we look through the current Newcastle United squad and the current injury/unavailable list and estimate when each player is likely to return to action...
1. Elliot Anderson - calf
Anderson missed Sunday’s win over Fulham with a minor calf injury. What Howe said: “We’re light in midfield, there’s no doubt about that. [Against Fulham] we were missing Elliot as well – who’s another player who can play in there – with, we think, a minor calf problem.” Estimated return date: 24/01 - Southampton (A)
2. Bruno Guimaraes - ankle
Bruno Guimaraes was forced off at half-time in Newcastle’s 1-0 win over Fulham at the weekend with a twisted ankle. Scans on Monday revealed no serious ligament damage with the midfielder likely to be back involved by the start of next month. He will be keen to get back in time for the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg. What Howe said: “He was in a lot of pain. He twisted his ankle and felt he could run it off. In the end he needed to be withdrawn. “He was (in distress), and he was after the game. He was worried about his ankle. It was a twist. He felt he could carry on until right at the end of the first half, when he signalled to come off. Never a good sign, from our perspective. We’ll have to get it scanned and checked out, and we’ll see what the damage is.” Estimated return date: 31/01 - Southampton (H)
Photo: Michael Regan
3. Jonjo Shelvey - calf
Having only recently returned from a serious hamstring injury before the World Cup break, Jonjo Shelvey is facing a spell on the sidelines once again after injuring his calf in the friendly win over Rayo Vallecano in December. What Howe said: “Looks like six to eight weeks, unfortunately. I think he felt something in the game vs Vallecano. We hoped it wasn’t serious. He resumed training and felt okay. A couple of days later, he felt it again, so he went for a scan.” Estimated return date: 18/02 - Liverpool (H)
4. Matt Targett - heel
Matt Targett succumbed to a troublesome heel issue just before the turn of the year and has had to wear a protective boot as a result. What Howe said: “I think Matt’s going to be out for a number of weeks. It’s a nasty injury. I would say the name of it, but I can’t pronounce it, but it is a nasty injury. It’ll probably be a minimum of a month, possibly more.” Estimated return date: TBC (February – March 2023)
Photo: Alex Livesey