This is why Andy Carroll's future is in the balance

Andy Carroll’s future at Newcastle United is in the balance – as the striker battles to overcome his latest injury.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 1:00 pm
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 4:34 pm

Carroll, re-signed last summer as a free agent, has been sidelined since the middle of last month with a hip problem – and Steve Bruce is refusing to put a timescale on his comeback.

The 31-year-old – whose career has been blighted by ankle problems – is under contract until the end of the season.

Newcastle have the option to extend the deal, but the latest injury has put Carroll’s longer-term future in doubt.

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Asked when a decision would be made on Carroll’s future, head coach Bruce said: “The big thing is to get him fit and see. Let’s hope we can get him right.

“Let’s hope he can be two or three weeks, but we can’t put a timescale on it, because we thought he was going to be alright for Arsenal, but then he had a setback unfortunately.”

Carroll first felt his hip late last year as he impressed during a run of games in Bruce's team.

“The frustration for us all is that just as we thought we were getting Andy back with those seven or so games, unfortunately he volleyed a ball out here and hasn’t been the same,” said Bruce.

Andy Carroll.

“We haven’t been able to get a diagnosis for him really, which is a frustration for everybody.

“The big thing is that his ankle is OK, but it’s frustrating for all of us, especially Andy, who’s disappointed over something you think is nothing. But then again, they are sometimes the complicated ones.”

Carroll has been “dealt a cruel hand” over his career, in Bruce’s view.

“Unfortunately, Andy has been dealt a cruel hand, and certain players go through their careers like that,” said Bruce. “Andy’s certainly been unfortunate to have been one of them.

“He’s a strong-minded individual, and tough mentally, and I suppose he’s had to be. However, even as tough as you are mentally, it affects you if you can’t play. If there’s an ongoing cycle, it becomes frustrating and disappointing for everybody, and, of course for Andy.”