Why Eddie Howe wanted Callum Wilson on Newcastle United's trip to Saudi Arabia despite injury
Wilson hasn’t featured for The Magpies since he was forced off in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United back in December.
He is not expected to return to first team action for at least another month with no clear timescale on when he’ll be back in action.
But he still flew out with the squad to Jeddah for a warm weather training camp although he is yet to return to full training. He was also spotted carrying crutches ahead of the 2-1 friendly win over Al-Ittihad.
Although his involvement on the football side of things was minimal while in the Gulf state, United’s top scorer still felt like it was a worthwhile trip for himself and the team.
“It was nice, it was different, I'd never been to Saudi Arabia before so it was a good experience to be fair,” he said on the Footballer’s Football Podcast.
“It's been a little bit different because usually it would be a training kind of camp [for me].”
Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe stressed the importance of team bonding sessions during the trip, which is why injured players such as Wilson, Federico Fernandez, Paul Dummett and Joelinton still travelled.
Some of the bonding sessions included players and staff going go karting, dancing with locals, attending Saudi Arabia’s 1-0 World Cup Qualifier win over Oman, playing Allan Saint-Maximin’s very own card game Helios and other sport related activities during the six day stay in the country.
"I managed to get the team bonding side of things out there,” Wilson added.
“The dinners, the team events, things like that which the manager wanted me out there for. Then I've just done my rehab with the physio and when I had the opportunity, got myself out in the sun to enjoy a little sunbathe.
"A little bit of sun in the winter is always good on the body and you come back with that little Saudi Arabian glow!”
Newcastle will be hoping they can manage without Wilson once again as they prepare to take on Everton at St James’s Park next Tuesday (7:45pm kick-off) following a busy transfer window.