Steve Bruce has revealed that Allan Saint-Maximin could feature in Newcastle’s clash with Tottenham on Sunday, but Callum Wilson will likely remain absent.
Saint-Maximin has missed the Magpies’ last three fixtures with a groin injury. It was the latest setback for the attacker, who missed all of December and large parts of January as well. But he now looks set to feature against Spurs having come through full training sessions this week.
Wilson has also taken part in training with the rest of the squad, but is said to be behind the Frenchman in fitness. The striker has been out with a hamstring injury since early February.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Bruce said: “It’s been very difficult because we’ve had six or seven away. But it’s allowed two or three closer to match fitness.
“Allan is more advanced than Callum is. He took part in a big session 48 hours ago; we hope he is a bit more advanced than Callum. We hope he can play some part.
“Callum? I wouldn’t have thought so. There’s still a couple of training sessions to come but next week might be realistic.”
However, it’s not all positive news on the injury front. Bruce confirmed that midfielder Isaac Hayden will be out for the rest of the season as a result of the knee injury he sustained in the 3-0 loss at Brighton.
That defeat left them just two points above the relegation zone, although they have a game in hand on Fulham who are directly below them.
Ashley continues to back Bruce
Bruce also revealed that owner Mike Ashley sent a message of support to the team after the disappointing result on the south coast – and insisted there have been no crisis talks between the two.
There have been increasing calls for the 60-year-old’s departure from St James’ Park. The Magpies gave picked up just nine points in their 14 Premier League games since the turn of the year.
“He [Ashley] sent his support to rally the troops and get behind everyone but, as I’ve said from day one, nothing has changed,” Bruce added.
“I have an everyday rapport with the CEO Lee Charnley and that’s who I report to day in and day out. That’s the way it is.”