May 21, 2024

Eddie Howe has given a brief update on Newcastle United’s injury situation ahead of crucial matches against AC Milan, Fulham, and Chelsea. Speculation about Harvey Barnes’ imminent return has been downplayed by Howe, emphasizing that the player, who has been sidelined for three months with a toe injury sustained in September, is not among the closest to returning. Despite Barnes’ efforts to resume full training and target a comeback by the year-end, Howe has ruled out his participation in the Champions League group stage match against AC Milan this week.

Harvey Barnes a player 'we like a lot', says England boss Gareth Southgate  | beIN SPORTS

While Sven Botman and Joe Willock are nearing their returns, Newcastle is still facing the absence of at least 13 players for the Milan match. Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff have returned from injury, but Howe acknowledged their lack of full fitness, noting that they were brought back into action to alleviate the strain on the thin squad. Although they performed well in the Tottenham Hotspur game, Howe remains cautious about their readiness to start upcoming matches.

The injury-plagued situation has left Newcastle vulnerable, with a fear of further setbacks amid a busy schedule featuring 10 matches in a month. Howe admitted the concern when a player like Fabian Schar suffered an early injury against Spurs, emphasizing the team’s inability to afford more setbacks. The return of key players in the coming weeks would provide much-needed options and depth to the squad, influencing Howe’s decision-making regarding the selection of players for upcoming matches.

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