The ‘pivotal’ Newcastle United player who’s given Eddie Howe an injury scare
The midfielder scored twice in last week’s 5-0 win over Al Hilal. Joelinton opened the scoring with a header, and doubled United’s advantage with a goal from a Joe Willock through ball.
Worryingly, however, Joelinton limped out of the game after the break with a hamstring problem, and the 26-year-old is being assessed ahead of Saturday’s home friendly against Real Vallecano and the December 21 Carabao Cup tie against Bournemouth at St James’s Park.
Howe was heartened by Joelinton’s performance in Riyadh up to his withdrawal.
“Yeah, I'm just pleased he's got two goals,” said United's head coach. "He's carried on where he left off before the World Cup break, a very good performance. That's why he's such an important player for us. We hope he's OK."
Joelinton hasn’t looked back since being switched to midfielder just over a year ago following the dismissal of Ciaran Clark against Sheffield United.
"I'd say mentally and physically, he's in a very good place,” said Howe. "He’s confident, and bringing in leadership skills to the group now. He’s a pivotal figure for us."
Howe also lost striker Chris Wood to a back problem against Al Hilal at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium.
“I think Chris has just got a back problem,” said Howe. “I don’t think it’s too bad. Joelinton felt a tightness in his hamstring. I don’t think it’s a pull or anything. Fingers cross, they’re not too bad.”