Newcastle United issue illness update on Callum Wilson ahead of Leeds United after new injury blow

Callum Wilson's pushing to return for Newcastle United’s New Year’s Eve game against Leeds United.

Wilson missed yesterday’s 3-0 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium because of illness. The result saw the club move up to second place in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s home game against Jesse Marsch’s 15th-placed team.

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Asked about the striker’s absence, Howe said: “Probably yesterday, I’d say, we were hopeful that he would recover from the illness that he’s had.

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"He was in at the training ground a couple of days ago, and we felt he’d be OK, even though he was slightly run down.

"I know Callum very, very well, obviously, and he’d only rule himself out of a game if he knew he couldn’t do the team justice in terms of what he needed to do physically. We hope he recovers quickly.”

Howe was also without 30-year-old midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who’s facing up to two months on the sidelines with a calf problem suffered earlier this month.

“Looks like six to eight weeks, unfortunately,” said Howe. “I think he felt something in the game against Vallecano. We hoped it wasn’t serious. He resumed training, and felt OK.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson.Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson.
Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson.
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"A couple of days later he felt it again, so he went for a scan. It’s enough to keep him out for that length of time.”

Shelvey – who is close to triggering an extension to his contract – had recovered from a hamstring injury suffered in pre-season before the international break.

“Really tough for him,” said Howe. “He worked incredibly hard to be fit for our pre-season, and be ready for the rigours he faced, and the fact the team were playing a certain way. He wanted to try and be part of that.

"When he picked up his hamstring injury, we were really disappointed for him. I saw him work so hard to get back from that hamstring injury, and he came back slightly ahead of schedule because of the work he put in.

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"Now he’s going to be out again, it’s a big blow for him – and for us.

"Of course, we’ll support him through this part of the journey.”