Steve Bruce reveals why Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin was allowed to leave the country
Steve Bruce has revealed why Newcastle United gave Allan Saint-Maximin permission to return to France during the latest lockdown.
Saint-Maximin, recovering from the groin injury he suffered against Wolverhampton Wanderers last month, spent last week in his home country.
The trip to Nice raised a number of questions, but United declined to comment at the time. There are severe restrictions on overseas travel due to the coronavirus pandemic – and it’s illegal to travel abroad for holidays.
Also, the relegation-threatened club would not reveal whether Saint-Maximin had to quarantine on his return to England, though it made clear that he would follow all relevant Covid-19 protocols.
Bruce, speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium, says the winger – who turned 24 during his time in France – was permitted to travel for medical reasons as he works towards a playing return next month.
Asked to explain the thinking behind the trip, United's head coach said: “Quite simple – part of his rehabilitation.
"I don’t know why there’s a story there. Fab Schar’s in Switzerland, Callum Wilson went down to his home in Bournemouth. It’s quite normal, and if I just put it one way for you, if if an Englishman was playing in France, maybe he’d want to come and see and English doctor to get a view on his groin.
"It’s quite normal. It’s not anything sinister. It was part of his rehabilitation. That’s all it is.”
Saint-Maximin, signed from Nice in the summer of 2019, had had to quarantine following a previous visit to France.
Meanwhile, Fabian Schar is recovering from knee surgery. The defender, out of contact in the summer, is expected to be sidelined until late this season.
"He's still recovering,” said Bruce. “He had an operation on his knee, and he's five or six weeks in. He's progressing nicely, and everything’s in place, but it's still too early for him."
Striker Callum Wilson is edging closer to a comeback from the hamstring injury he suffered against Southampton last month.
“He’s well into his rehabilitation,” said Bruce. “We knew Saint-Maximin and Callum, in particular, were nasty muscle injuries, which were obviously going to take time. You have to let nature take it’s course.”