Steve Bruce left with depleted Newcastle United squad after Covid-19 infections
Steve Bruce’s players returned to full-contract training yesterday after the training ground reopened.
It had been closed since the squad left for the November 27 game against Crystal Palace due to an outbreak of Covid-19 cases at the club.
It had been hoped to reopen the facility at the start of the week. However, the club, which has been liaising with Public Health England, was given the all-clear to restart training following a round of tests on Tuesday.
United have not confirmed the total number of cases, though Bruce revealed that three unnamed players – and one member of staff – were self-isolating before the Palace fixture, which Newcastle won 2-0. There were more cases reported over that weekend – and last week’s fixture against Aston Villa was postponed.
Newcastle yesterday issued a short statement confirming that training had restarted. It read: “The squad return to full group training following last week's temporary closure due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.”
A number of players are self-isolating – it has been claimed that up to 12 squad members will be unavailable – but club, which insisted last week that it has strictly followed all the Premier League’s Covid-19 protocols, is not understood to have asked the Premier League to postpone the fixture.
The players who missed the Palace game because of positive tests are available, having isolated for 10 days.
Bruce – who has had Elliot Anderson and Dan Langley training with the senior squad this season – could call up Under-23 players.