Steve Bruce is waiting on the results of scans to reveal the extent of the injuries sustained by Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron and Emil Krafth against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
That’s according to Chronicle Live, who note that Saint-Maximin is facing a potential lay-off with a groin problem sustained in Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with the Molineux natives.
Almiron’s campaign may also be over after he suffered a knee issue when stretching for the ball against Wolves, while any absence for Krafth could leave Bruce without a recognised right-back at home to relegation-rivals West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Can Newcastle cope without ASM again?
Yes, Bruce will find a way
No, the Toon will struggle
Javier Manquillo has begun training sessions on grass following a spell out with an ankle injury sustained in February’s 3-2 win over Southampton, but he is yet to be deemed fit enough to feature with the first-team.
Bruce will be hoping for better news on Saint-Maximin, Almiron and Krafth before the Baggies descend on Tyneside, having been dealt a tough hand with the number of injuries.
“It’s been pretty brutal to us in that respect to our big players, so we’ll have to get on with it, accept it and take on the challenge,” the Toon head coach noted.
“We’ll not know until scans tomorrow [Sunday]. We’ll have scans fixed up and see how he [Almiron] is.
“The way he was at half-time told it all, really. As I’ve said many, many times with Almiron; he’s a wonderful pro and he was in distress with it. Let’s hope it’s not that bad.”
Saturday’s draw was Almiron’s 24th Premier League appearance of the season, while Saint-Maximin was making only his fourth start in Newcastle’s last eight games following a two-month lay-off after testing positive for coronavirus.
Should Saint-Maximin be ruled unavailable for Sunday’s vital encounter with West Brom, which is a must-win fixture with the Magpies on the cusp of the relegation zone, Bruce will have to hope that Jacob Murphy can step up and help fill the void the French star will leave.
Murphy came on to replace Saint-Maximin with just under half an hour remaining against Wolves, and produced a lively cameo performance, with him coming close to creating a winner only for Joelinton to see his shot bundled over the bar by Romain Saiss.
The Brazilian’s wasted chance marked the only key pass registered by Murphy, who also saw his sole shot blocked, although the £3m-rated summer free-agent was also able to complete three successful dribbles – only Saint-Maximin (4) recorded more, per WhoScored.
Bruce had awarded Murphy just 13 minutes in United’s previous five Premier League games, all of which came against Manchester United, with the £25,000-per-week outcast omitted from three of six matchday squads since earning his last start at home to Leeds in January.
Murphy has been given few opportunities to play his way into earning a new contract at St. James’ Park with eight top-flight starts all term, having not scored a league goal since striking his only effort of the campaign in October and providing his sole assist in December.
Newcastle and Bruce will need the 26-year-old to improve his output if he is to step up and fill Saint-Maximin’s void, after going winless in seven of the nine league fixtures that the £29m-rated dynamo sat out.