Northern Ireland boss reveals Jamal Lewis injury as he weighs up 'risk' of selecting Newcastle United defender in Italy

Jamal Lewis arrived on international duty with a pre-existing groin injury, Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough has revealed.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 4:12 pm
Jamal Lewis of Newcastle United warms up prior to the Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on January 30, 2021 in Liverpool, England.
Jamal Lewis of Newcastle United warms up prior to the Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on January 30, 2021 in Liverpool, England.

The Newcastle United defender is rated as doubtful for Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Italy according to PA – with Baraclough unsure whether he will use the £15million full-back in Parma.

“We’ll decide in Italy whether we take the risk with Jamal,” Baraclough said prior to his squad’s flight to the continent.

“He hasn’t trained, so it’s something he’s had back at his club and we knew that coming into this camp.”

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Should Lewis, one of only three Premier League regulars in the Northern Ireland squad, not be risked then Baraclough is likely to turn to former United full-back Shane Ferguson, now of Millwall, or Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas.

Lewis could conceivably return to action when Baraclough’s men face the United States in a Windsor Park friendly on Sunday or when they’re next in World Cup action against Bulgaria next Wednesday.