New Alexander Isak injury update at Newcastle United as Eddie Howe reveals 'conversations' with striker

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Alexander Isak’s “very close” to returning to training at Newcastle United ahead of a tough run of New Year fixtures.

The striker, signed in January from Real Sociedad for a club-record £60million fee, has been sidelined since September with a thigh injury suffered while on international duty with Sweden.

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However, Eddie Howe today revealed that he was “hopeful” on a return for Isak next month, when Newcastle have at least five games.

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Asked if Isak could be back in the early part of the month, United's head coach said: “Whenever he's fit and available, he’ll certainly come into my thinking then.

"He would be like a new signing, a bit of a cliche, but he would be. We haven’t had him for a long period of time, so whenever he’s fit and available, he’ll come into our plans straight away. We need to make sure he is fit before exposing him to a match.

“We’re just going to have to judge it when he’s fit. I can look at games, and think ‘this game would be good for him’, but it all depends on how he feels, and if he’s ready to play.”

Asked if Isak was back in full training, Howe added: “He’s very close.”

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Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak.Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak.
Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak.

Howe has had regular talks with Isak at the club’s training ground.

"I’ve had conversations with him, not to keep him right, but for me to find out how he’s feeling, and to try to help him,” said Howe.

“Naturally, he’s been disappointed. He’s desperate to play and prove how good he is. It’s more a case of just trying to keep him calm, and try to make sure he realises there’s a long, long future ahead of him here. We just want him to be right.”

Asked what kind of impact Isak could have in the second half of the season, Howe said: "He’s a supremely talented player. I think he can have a big impact, but we’ have players who’ve played really well in his position, so it's going to be a challenge.

"It's not a case of just walking back into the team. That’s the beauty of our team at the moment.”

Isak scored two goals from three games for Newcastle before suffering his injury.

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