Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has been forced to juggle a number of injuries to his squad in the opening weeks of the season | Pool/Getty Images
Newcastle United defender Paul Dummett has suffered another injury setback, while manager Steve Bruce has provided a positive update on three other squad members.
Bruce’s side went into November’s international break sitting 13th in the Premier League table after eight matches, the same position they ended the previous campaign in. Yet, much like last season, the Magpies have been blighted by injuries, with the situation only worsened by the condensed, coronavirus-influenced fixture schedule.
Bruce has steered Newcastle to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup this season | Robin Jones/Getty Images
After a spate of six soft-tissue injuries in the space of 120 minutes of football in January last season, Bruce promised to investigate what was prompting this crisis. Unfortunately, almost a year on and the squad’s injury concerns continue to persist with Dummett in particular struggling to find full fitness.
The 29-year-old defender has sustained a hamstring injury following two appearances for the club’s Under-23 side according to The Chronicle. Dummett was forced off against Wolverhampton Wanderers in January and could be ruled out until 2021 with this latest fitness issue.
In brighter news, Bruce was able to provide a positive update on the status of a trio of players earlier this week, telling The Chronicle: “Dwight Gayle is going along nicely, Martin Dubravka and so is Jonjo Shelvey.
Jonjo Shelvey missed Newcastle’s last three fixtures before the November international break | Alex Pantling/Getty Images
“We’re hoping – and I don’t want to put anybody under pressure – that certainly after the international break in two or three weeks time they will be there or thereabouts.”
Gayle and Dubravka are yet to make an appearance for Newcastle this season and might not quite be ready for the home meeting with Chelsea on Saturday.
Shelvey started Newcastle’s first five Premier League games of the season but Bruce admitted his midfield anchor had been playing through pain last month, revealing: “He’s a very good player and most players wouldn’t be playing with the injury that he’s played with, and we’ll probably address that over the next two or three weeks.”