Steve Bruce has revealed there are no new injuries to speak of as Newcastle United head to Old Trafford tomorrow with a heavily depleted squad.
The absence of Callum Wilson, the top scorer, will be the most sorely felt, but joining him on the treatment table are Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez and Javier Manquillo. Bruce provided updates on the quartet: “Thankfully we’ve not got any new injuries ahead of the weekend,” he told the BBC
“Federico Fernandez trained yesterday and the day before but Sunday will be too soon for him. We’re hoping he’ll be ready for Wolves [on 27 February].”
“Fabian Schar has had his operation and Callum Wilson’s is a muscle injury so we have to be patient with him.
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“The one that looks better is Javier Manquillo. He twisted his ankle badly but has responded well to his treatment.”
Bruce also acknowledged the delicacy of Paul Dummet’s situation. The 29-year-old made his fourth appearance of the season against Southampton earlier this month having suffered from Achilles, thigh and hamstring injuries over the past year.
“We’ll need his experience and know-how,” he said.
“We’re also mindful of just throwing him in there. Since Southampton he’s trained another week and the more sessions he does the better. He’s there or thereabouts.”
The return to full fitness of Martin Dubravka, meanwhile, has given Bruce a rare selection dilemma, with Karl Darlow – the former understudy – having flourished in the Slovak’s absence, relegating him to the bench. This sort of competition can only be healthy, though, according to the Newcastle boss.
“He’s been very professional but that doesn’t mean he’s happy [with not playing] and I wouldn’t expect him to be,” he said of Dubravka.
“I’ve stayed with Karl because I think he deserves it – all season we’ve said how well he’s played but I need that competition.”